Published july 29, 2019

From the CEO

One of our greatest satisfactions at the Milken Institute over the past decade has been the rapid expansion of our work outside the United States. Today, our mission of building meaningful lives is being advanced with initiatives in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and — more than any other region — Asia.

Our increasing engagement in Asia has paralleled the growth of the region’s economies. We’ve been involved in Asia since the Institute’s founding, perhaps in part because it is based in Pacific-facing Los Angeles. But it was the establishment of our Asia Center in Singapore along with the inauguration of our annual Asia Summit that has sharpened this focus.

The sixth Asia Summit, which takes place in Singapore September 19-20, will bring together some 1,400 leaders in business and finance for discussions on the region’s most urgent issues. In a short time, the Summit has grown from a single-day gathering of a few hundred participants to one of the region’s most in-demand events.

Our talented and hard-working Asia team does much more. In addition to full media engagement, financial innovation labs and the publication of research and commentary, a host of special events are on the agenda. A few highlights from this year:

  • A one-day symposium in Tokyo in March brought together institutional investors, business leaders and high-level government officials from Japan and other Pacific Rim countries to tackle critical issues facing Japan.
  • Also in March, the Institute hosted a fintech roundtable in Manila with the Asian Development Bank that convened 70 policymakers and business leaders to discuss how the Philippines can realize the potential of innovative technology to expand access to finance.
  • A capital markets roundtable in Kathmandu focused on creating a consensus on how to develop securities markets in Nepal.
  • A senior regional leaders lunch in Hong Kong in June, in cooperation with the Asia Society, and a senior regional leaders meeting late that same month in Singapore.

In addition, Asia was strongly represented at this year’s Global Conference in Los Angeles, with more than 200 participants from the region. Seven public panels and seven private sessions addressed the forces shaping the continent, especially the two economic powerhouses, China and India. Speakers included Alibaba’s Joe Tsai, and former Hong Kong CEO C.H. Tung.

Why the commitment to Asia? As recent trade tensions between the U.S. and China have made increasingly clear, robust growth in Asia is critical to the global economy. We plan to continue to leverage our neutral platform to foster dialogue and economic engagement both within Asia and between the region and the rest of the world. We’re delighted to be working on a variety of fronts to further that goal.

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Michael Klowden, CEO