WHAT are the ramifications of Shinzo Abe's "active pacifism"? How much worse can Tokyo-Beijing ties get?
What is likely to be the impact on Asia of the shale gas boom in the United States that is helping to refuel manufacturing there and has seen American companies increasingly "reshore" operations from China back to the US?
Where should you put your money in 2014?
These and other questions will be discussed at the second ST Global Outlook Forum, to be held at the Shangri-La Hotel on Nov 29. Headlined by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam, the half-day seminar is based on the theme: "Will 2014 be a year of living dangerously for Asia?"
Presented by ANZ Bank and supported by Mercedes-Benz, it brings together marquee regional and global experts, along with four experienced Straits Times journalists.
Last year's inaugural conference drew a sellout crowd and the response this year is expected to be even better, given the regional situation.
"Asia faces many challenges in the coming years," said ST editor Warren Fernandez. "China is rising, Japan is finally re-emerging from the doldrums, and there will be major elections in India and Indonesia. Asean will have to navigate these developments, even as it moves towards becoming a community."
In an opening session moderated by Mr Fernandez, Mr Shanmugam will discuss the challenges facing Singapore and the region.
After a presentation by ANZ chief economist Glenn B. Magu-ire, another highlight will be a panel led by ST foreign editor Ravi Velloor, comprising analyst Manu Bhaskaran, partner and head of economic research at Centennial Group, and three ST journalists: Mr Peh Shing Huei, deputy news editor and author of When The Party Ends, a book analysing China's rise and challenges; veteran Japan correspondent Kwan Weng Kin; and senior economics correspondent Fiona Chan.
They will explore topics ranging from the future of Japan under Mr Abe's economic policy to the perils facing China and South-east Asia's challenges. Futurist Parag Khanna of the Hybrid Reality Institute will then address the forum over lunch on global megatrends, and take questions.
ST's Mr Fernandez said: "Our readers will be interested to hear from our speakers, not least our team of experienced ST correspondents who have been covering these events closely over the years. They have many insights to share on what lies ahead in 2014."
Mr Velloor added: "With three of our top journalists in the panel, the forum provides an opportunity for people to have direct access to the ground-up views of the people who bring you the news. This is an opportunity not to be missed."
The early bird registration rate, until Nov 10, is $190 per person. The usual fee is $280.
Those who are interested may sign up at www.straitstimes.com/stoutlook before Nov 22.