WATCH: 2016 Milken Institute Asia Summit
Watch the livestream of this year's Asia Summit by the Milken Institute on Rappler!

Rappler is at Forces Shaping Asia, the 2016 Milken Institute’s Asia Summit in Singapore.

This annual conference brings together about 400 influential thought leaders and senior decision-makers to talk about regional and global challenges as well as the trends that will shape the future of Asia.

What are the threats and opportunities – from global capital markets to cybersecurity and new leaders in Asia?


8:45 – 10:00 AM   


Global Overview: Navigating an Uncertain World

After a rocky start, global financial markets have shown surprising resilience in 2016. Jitters over slowing economic growth in China have subsided somewhat, offset by strength in U.S. job growth. The UK vote to exit the European Union initially shocked markets in June, but the sell-off was brief — and followed by a powerful rally in stocks worldwide, particularly in emerging markets. But equities have been underpinned in part by continued massive accommodation by central banks. Meanwhile, terrorist attacks, a backlash against immigration and free trade, and the divisive U.S. presidential election have fed an undercurrent of fear in the global economy and markets. The Asia Summit kicks off with a hard look at the most important issues facing government, business and investors heading into 2017. What are the near-term prospects for economic growth in Asia and the rest of the world? What are the biggest impediments to the region’s aspirations — and the major positives? Where are the financial markets going from here?

Welcoming remarks by Michael Klowden, CEO, Milken Institute


  • Ronnie C. Chan, Chairman, Hang Lung Group Ltd.
  • Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore
  • Michael Milken, Chairman, Milken Institute
  • Steven Tananbaum, Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, GoldenTree Asset Management
  • Peter Wuffli, Chairman, Partners Group Holding AG

Moderated by Jonathan Woetzel, Director, McKinsey Global Institute; Senior Partner, Shanghai, McKinsey & Co.


10:45 – 11:15 AM Cybersecurity: Can the Next Threat Be Stopped?

As our reliance on connectivity grows, cyberattacks are escalating in frequency and sophistication. The banking industry was stunned early this year when hackers stole $81 million from the Bank of Bangladesh’s Federal Reserve account using Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication credentials. Global cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019, according to Juniper Research. One response is to adopt defensive strategies to prevent hackers from penetrating networks. For example, Singapore plans to cut Internet connections to public employees’ computers, allowing access only through dedicated terminals, a seeming contradiction to its Smart Nation initiative to build more integrated networks. A more offensive strategy also is emerging in which threat-intelligence providers track cyber-thieves in underground Web forums and on social media to learn their methods and prevent assaults. This panel will discuss the latest threats that lurk in cyberspace and the steps companies and governments can take to counter them.


  • Aditya Mathur, Professor and Head of Information Systems Technology and Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
  • Alain Raes, Chief Executive, Asia-Pacific and Europe Middle East and Africa, SWIFT
  • Nadav Zafrir, Co-Founder and CEO, Team8; Former Commander, Technology and Intelligence Unit 8200, Israeli Defense Forces

Moderated by Jeevan Vasagar, Singapore and Malaysia Correspondent, Financial Times


12:15 – 1:45 PM

Global Capital Markets: The Search for Value

Whipsawing global capital markets have kept investors guessing throughout 2016. The severe fluctuations raise the question, how do investors make sense of — and find value in — a volatile environment? Our panel of experts will pinpoint some of the best value ideas across the spectrum of asset allocation options. What geopolitical, economic and market indicators should investors consider as they think about asset allocation strategies? What do low interest rates in Europe’s largest economies mean for emerging markets and alternative investments? Are there ways for investors to find dollar-denominated assets with meaningful absolute returns? Which types of investments now have the best risk-return ratios? Should investors consider deploying capital to less liquid strategies, or is the most prudent idea simply waiting on the sidelines for better values to emerge in 2017?

Introduction by Laura Deal Lacey, Executive Director, Asia, Milken Institute


  • Gordon Fyfe, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, British Columbia Investment Management Corp.
  • Lawrence Golub, CEO, Golub Capital
  • Omar Lodhi, Partner and Regional Head, Asia, Abraaj Group
  • Larry Post, Partner, Arena Capital Advisors

Moderated by Michael Milken, Chairman, Milken Institute


2:15 – 3:15 PM

Artificial Intelligence: Blurring the Lines Between Humans and Machines

For decades, futurists and science fiction writers predicted that smart machines would someday rival the intelligence of humans. Now, their forecasts seem to be coming true. Artificial intelligence, or AI, already exceeds human capability in certain fields. Machines can send and receive signals and analyze vast quantities of data faster than humans. They have learned to drive cars, manage stock portfolios and, through personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa, talk to us. In the not-so-distant future, AI may even augment our own brain functions. But as with all revolutions, the potential of AI raises concerns. Among the biggest: Some worry that that its growing capability may trigger the largest labor displacement since the Great Depression. This panel will explore the many ways artificial intelligence will shape our workforce, culture and institutions in the years to come. 


  • Pascale Fung, Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Ben Goertzel, Chief Scientist, Hanson Robotics; Chief Scientist, Aidyia Ltd.
  • Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Corp.; Chairman, Asia-Pacific R&D Group, Microsoft

Moderated by James Cham, Partner, Bloomberg Beta


3:30 – 4:30 PM

Capturing the Opportunity in Asia’s Growing Middle Class

Asia’s middle class is expected to account for two-thirds of the global middle class by 2030 — and more than half of middle-class consumption worldwide. The region’s economic growth during the last two decades has created a richer, more confident and more urbanized consumer cohort, and although they are a potential bonanza for regional and foreign businesses, they are more discerning and tech-savvy in their buying behavior than the generations before them. This panel of experts will look at the opportunities — and pitfalls — that accompany selling to Asia’s burgeoning middle class. How are global companies reaching this demographic? How do middle-class expectations in Asia differ from those in Europe and the U.S.? And which goods and services have the greatest sales potential in the region over the next 10 years?


  • Sam Fischer, President, Greater China and Asia, Diageo
  • Patrick Grove, Group CEO, Catcha Group; Chair, iflix
  • Christopher Townsend, President, Asia, MetLife Inc.
  • Jaime Zóbel de Ayala, Chairman and CEO, Ayala Corp.

Moderated by Kevin Sneader, Chairman, Asia, McKinsey & Co.