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IMG_5230Second and the last day of East Asia Forum began with#Twitter4Leaders breakfast session.  I was fortunate to be invited though I was not sure what exactly would be on agenda. We were assigned to tables with the topic and after remarks from five panelist (I believe), we began discussion of new ideas for the topic we were assigned with the help of the facilitator.  Our topic was Disaster Relief Management.  To my surprise, I was nominated as a reporter of the table, and shared a few ideas we developed at our table.  Clock was ticking to time the report out, and I managed somehow.  Sometimes, at the conferences, these opportunities fall on you out of the blue and you get frightened.  I believe, however, all you need is to go with it.  (Many times I wish I could have done so and so, later, but the experience does help.)

IMG_5235The last session for me was CONNECT on financial inclusion and protection in East Asia, where I served as a facilitator.  I do like this new format of CONNECT as it has the nice tempo and can get efficient.  Our topic was quite challenging, however, and I had a hard time wrapping up such broad and complex topic. The opportunity to facilitate with the new format was a good one for me.

Though we tend to focus more on growth potential and hope of ASEAN region, we have many (close to half of the population) living in rural areas, not having bank accounts and/or insured.  Devices such as mobile phone and digital payment platform connecting banks-telecom-retail help, but we need to be aware of the big need for financial literacy and capacity building.   I was quite overwhelmed by the need to increase financial literacy when many products are now available and needs of individuals vary, and technology is advancing very quickly.

We also need to think about the role of government for this issue from broader perspectives than just setting up regulatory hurdles. Remarks about government initiative of Indonesia to set the direction when not much infrastructure has been in place yet, I find, are quite encouraging.

IMG_5206Two more activities/events at the East Asia Forum for me- one was to see Linda Yueh of BBC doing the televised program and I got to ask the question, and the other, given the opportunity to attend Meditation session.  I have been interested in Mindfulness, but not quite sure what it is.  Trying meditation was new experience for me.

Two days packed with interesting and stimulating discussions and encounters are over.  I wish I can come back to see how the country evolves AND to see ICS alumni whom I missed this time.

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