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The 12th Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative (HYLI), which was held for the third time in Bangkok, Thailand from 1 to 5 July 2013, has brought together 28 of ASEAN and Japan’s top university students and high-profile opinion leaders to discuss pressing challenges in the region. The 12th HYLI aims to identify and nurture potential Asian leaders and offers them a unique platform to broaden their outlooks while promoting Asian values and cross-cultural understanding.
The event was attended by about 350 people, including representatives of government, business and universities in Thailand. An exhibition of the business activities of the Hitachi Group was also set up at the venue and visited by many participants.
During the five-day program in Bangkok, students participated in a variety of activities, including forums, workshops, fieldwork and a press conference.
At the start of the event, Mr Masahide Tanigaki, Representative Executive Officer, Senior Vice President and Executive Officer of Hitachi, Ltd. offered opening remarks on behalf of Hitachi, and thanked all those whose assistance contributed to the success of the program. As the Guest-of-Honour, Mr Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Thailand was welcomed to deliver the opening address. His Excellency Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Shigekazu Sato, Embassy of Japan to the Kingdom of Thailand, gave opening remarks and Dr Surin Pitsuwan, former Secretary- General of ASEAN, gave the keynote speech. A forum was held over the first two days of the program featuring presentations as well as panel discussions by experts and high-ranking officials.
After interaction with the distinguished speakers on the first two days, the students conducted three days of intensive workshops and expressed their ideas on the theme “The Road Ahead: ASEAN’s Role in Asia and the Global Economy,” as well as sub-themes “AEC 2015: What can ASEAN really expect? Asia’s significance in the global economy” and “Connectivity: The driver of ASEAN competitiveness.” The field trips and cultural tour enhanced their understanding of the themes.
Apart from various forums and workshops designed to ensure students rich networking and learning opportunities, Hitachi also organized a visit to Thailand’s leading state-owned power utility company, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Chulalongkorn University and Hitachi Metals (Thailand) Ltd.
Since its inauguration in Singapore in 1996, HYLI has been successful in bringing the best and brightest students in Asia together. With each edition, four outstanding students not over 28 years of age are chosen to represent their country for the program. These students come from six ASEAN countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and Japan.
The students were selected through a rigorous selection process based on their academic results, participation in extra-curricular activities, community contributions, awards achieved, fluency in English and knowledge of current regional issues.