Business, cultural, digital economy and diplomacy in the pandemic-recovery era

Transport Minister and MCA president, Datuk Seri Ir Dr Wee Ka Siong delivering his special keynote address at the 2020 World Chinese Economic Summit.

CHINA is one of the fastest growing economies recovering from the global pandemic. As a major locomotive for the global and regional economy, China is also the biggest trading partner for many countries across the world, including the 10 Asean member countries.

The republic’s Belt and Road Initiative has driven infrastructure development in Asia, Africa and Central Asia, while its technological advancements and innovations are shaping the future of industries. So, how can China benefit the countries of South-East Asia and help accelerate their recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic?

This will be one of the points of discussion at the upcoming 2021 World Chinese Economic and Technology Summit (2021 WCET).

Entitled “Promoting Business, Cultural & Digital Economy Cooperation and Diplomacy”, the 2021 WCET is set to kick off on Dec 16 at Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang.

WCET started out as the World Chinese Economic Summit in 2009. It was founded by leading Malaysian entrepreneur Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew of the Cheng Ho Multicultural Trust and think tank leader Tan Sri Michael Yeoh.

The summit is an annual international forum promoting business linkages, connectivity, shared prosperity, and sustainability. Its aim is to enhance connections between China and the world and among the global Chinese diaspora.

With the rapid rise of technology and innovation, the summit was rebranded to cover the role of technology in business, education, healthcare and economic growth.

Due to the pandemic, technology has emerged as a game changer while the digital economy has become a major driver of sustainable economic growth and transformation. However, the global growth in e-commerce and the acceleration of artificial intelligence, robotics and big data analysis have impacted countries and companies.

WCET was started as the World Chinese Economic Summit in 2009 by co-founders think tank leader Tan Sri Michael Yeoh (pic) and leading Malaysian entrepreneur Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew.WCET was started as the World Chinese Economic Summit in 2009 by co-founders think tank leader Tan Sri Michael Yeoh (pic) and leading Malaysian entrepreneur Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew.

The evolution of WCET makes it a strategic platform for regional and global business collaborations to build back better following the pandemic. At the 2021 WCET summit, participants will discuss key trends in the digital economy as well as new challenges and opportunities.

China’s vast advances in digital, green, rail and construction technologies can provide opportunities for countries and companies including small and medium enterprises. The summit will also foster technology collaboration and exchanges, including how the Digital Silk Road can enhance cooperation between China and other countries in the digital economy.

The high-level forum will bring together government, business and academic leaders not only to boost learning between East and West and connect the global Chinese diaspora, but also to promote sustainable development, green technological innovation and new drivers of growth in line with the global recovery.

Speakers this year include Dr Wang Huiyao, counsellor to State Council China/ President, Center for China and Globalization; Dr Yan Lijin, chairman of the Silk Road International Foundation/ China Silk Road Group; Sir Danny Alexander, vice president for policy and strategy at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China; Dr Chheang Vannarith, president of the Asia Vision Institute, Cambodia; Stephen Lai, strategic adviser to Penang State Minister for Trade, Industry and Entrepreneur Development; Prof Dr Din Syamsuddin, former chairman of Muhammadiyah, Indo-nesia; Dr Selena Ng, board member at The Global Foundation, Australia; and Ong Bee Leng, chief executive officer, Penang Women’s Development Corporation.

Other topics that will be covered are how business can embrace new opportunities in new growth areas; the role of the global Chinese diaspora in global recovery, and how to harness the power and potential of women leaders.

For more information or registration, go to, email or call 03-6419 9691.

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