The third Straits Times Global Outlook Forum focuses on Asia's promise in 2015

Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Straits Times foreign editor Ravi Velloor (left) with Professor Kishore Mahbubani. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Straits Times foreign editor Ravi Velloor (left) with Professor Kishore Mahbubani. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Professor Kishore Mahbubani. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Professor Kishore Mahbubani. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Straits Times foreign editor Ravi Velloor (left) with Professor Kishore Mahbubani. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Straits Times foreign editor Ravi Velloor (left) with Professor Kishore Mahbubani. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - The third Straits Times Global Outlook Forum, which will feature a keynote speech by astute Asia analyst Kishore Mahbubani, kicked off at Shangri-La Hotel on Friday morning.

The theme this year is: 2015 And The Promise Of An Asian Resurgence.

In his opening remarks at the event, Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said the premise of the forum was simple - to look back upon the past year and see how the various developments play out in the year ahead.

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Last year's forum, which asked if 2014 would be a dangerous year for Asia, proved prescient as the simmering territorial tensions in South and East China Seas ratcheted up after China suddenly declared an air defence identification zone.

This year's theme of whether 2015 will be a year of Asia's resurgence comes amid concerns of fragility about China's and Japan's growth, he noted.

"I hope this year's theme will prove equally prescient and growth will be positive", he said.

Mr Fernandez also asked ST's readers to watch out for new features on ST's website, mobile apps, tablet and print as the newspaper revamps its offerings in 2015 - when Singapore celebrates its 50th year as a nation and ST celebrates its 170th birthday.

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In his opening remarks, Mr Sanjoy Sen, ANZ Bank’s head of retail banking in the Asia-Pacific, said next year may well mark Asia's resurgence.ANZ Bank is the sponsor of the half-day event.

Mr Sen homed in on China's push to liberalise and internationalise the renminbi and the formation of the Asean Economic Community, with its promise of a freer flow of goods and capital, as the major drivers of growth in Asia in 2015. 

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, will also give his take on the geopolitical trends - can Asia hope for a brighter 2015 after recent years which saw superpowers jockey for influence in the region and the spiking of tensions over territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. 

This will be followed by a discussion on the growth prospects of Asian economies, featuring a presentation by ANZ chief economist Glenn Maguire. 

The forum will also feature a special address by Dr Mari Pangestu, Indonesia's leading economist who until recently was its Tourism and Creative Economy Minister.

Other speakers include renowned editors T.N. Ninan of India and Endy Bayuni of Indonesia and Singapore-based academics Li Mingjiang and Lam Peng Er, experts on China and Japan, respectively.

Engaging them will be senior journalists from The Straits Times newsroom – news editor Peh Shing Huei, author of a book on China, where he served as bureau chief; Indonesia

Bureau chief Zakir Hussain, and Tokyo- based senior economics correspondent Fiona Chan. 

The ST Global Forum, now in its third year, has become a key event in the Singapore calendar. 

bhagya@sph.com.sg