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LSE Holds 6th Asia Forum in Kuala Lumpur

LSE Asia Forum brings together policy makers, academics, and business leaders to discuss a range of issues relating to the region

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The London School of Economics and Political Science's Asia Forum 2014 was held in Kuala Lumpur at the Shangri-La Hotel today. The LSE Asia Forum brings together academics, policy makers, and figures from the business and finance sectors to discuss issues pertaining to Asia and its relation to the rest of the world.

LSE Director and President, Professor Craig Calhoun with Dato Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economic Planning  delivering His Excellency Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia's opening speech.

This marks the first time that LSE has held this prestigious event in Malaysia, and is the 6th such event since the inaugural Asia Forum in Bangkok in 2004. The LSE Asia Forum has also been held in Hong Kong, Delhi, Singapore and Beijing.

The theme for this year's LSE Asia Forum was 'Building Asian Futures: Integration, Welfare, and Growth?', with participants discussing the rewards and the challenges that Asia faces as it realises its position in the global and borderless economy. The Forum also coincided with the first-ever graduation ceremony in Malaysia, which took place on Wednesday 2nd April.

In addition to a broad discussion of issues which affect the region, there were four sessions focusing on key topics -- International and Regional relations in Asia, Cities and Urbanisation, ASEAN Leadership in a Leaderless World, and International Monetary Regimes. Each session was led by an eminent academic from LSE. There was also a special lunchtime session, on 'Leveraging Asia's Success', which was led by LSE Professor Tim Besley.

The conference also featured prominent speakers from Malaysia, the region, and across the world as chairs and respondents, and was attended by more than 500 invited delegates.

Nobel Laureate Sir Christopher Pissarides, Regius Professor and School Professor of Economics and Political Science at LSE, and Professor Danny Quah, Malaysian-born professor of economics and international development and Kuwait Professor at LSE were among the speakers, as well as Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of Bank Muamalat Malaysia and Chairman of CIMB ASEAN Research Institute; Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and Andrew Sheng, President of the Fung Global Institute and Chief advisor to the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

LSE receives major gift to create new Southeast Asia Centre

In the keynote address delivered by LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun at the outset of the Asia Forum, it was announced that LSE will establish a new academic centre focusing on South East Asian Studies. Named for its benefactor, The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre will be headed up by Malaysian-born Professor Danny Quah as Director Designate.

The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre will bring together researchers for interdisciplinary analysis of policy questions facing Southeast Asia, while strengthening further LSE's research and engagement with the ASEAN region. Academics affiliated with the centre will benefit from a range of specialist resources, networks, and funding opportunities.

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Quah said:

"The rise of Asia is perhaps the singular developmental and political story of our era, attracting praise and criticism, wonder and scepticism. LSE, as one of the world's leading institutions for social science research and education, has always been fully engaged with Asian developments – whether it is in climate change governance, agrarian reform or religious conflict.

Thanks to the continuing generosity of Professor Saw, LSE can build on its already substantial engagement with Asia. Using LSE's distinctive interdisciplinary expertise in the social sciences, The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre can bring a global perspective to the policy and research questions specific to the region."

Danny Quah is Professor of Economics and International Development at LSE and is a leading expert on the rise of eastern economies.  

For editorial enquiries on the London School of Economics Asia Forum 2014, please contact:

Notes to Editors

About the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

The London School of Economics and Political Science is a specialist university with an international intake of around 9,300 full-time students from 145 countries and a global reach. Its research and teaching span the full breadth of the social sciences, from economics, politics and law to sociology, anthropology, accounting and finance. Founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, the School has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence. 16 Nobel Prize winners have been LSE staff or alumni while over 30 past or present world leaders have studied or taught at LSE. Set up to improve society and to "understand the causes of things", LSE has always put engagement with the wider world at the heart of its mission. From its location in the heart of London, the School links communities across the world, through formal academic partnerships to advisory work with governments and international organisations.

About the London School of Economics and Malaysia

The London School of Economics (LSE) has a longstanding relationship with Malaysia and has Malaysian alumni dating back to the 1950s. Around 300 students a year from Malaysia come to study at LSE and there are now over 1,500 LSE alumni living in Malaysia. The LSE Alumni Group in Malaysia was founded in 1985 and is one of the largest LSE alumni groups in Asia.

About the LSE Asia Forum

The LSE Asia Forum is an important and very public part of the School's strategy to enhance its long standing relationship with the rapidly developing Asian region.  LSE has historically attracted many very talented students and staff from all major Asian countries. The School has a large and distinguished group of alumni in the region and has been active in building partnerships with business and governments for many years.

The LSE Asia Forum is a unique opportunity to bring together LSE's key partners in the region.  The Forum provides an opportunity for analysis of different perspectives on the economic, social, political and cultural contributions Asia is making to global development.

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