Commencement Ceremony of Future China Advanced Leaders Programme Welcome Address by Professor Er Meng Hwa Vice President (International Affairs) Nanyang Technological University

11 May 2012

Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for National Development,

Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State for Finance and Transport,

Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman, Business China

Ms Low Yen Ling, Chief Executive Officer, Business China

Participants of the Inaugural Future China Advanced Leaders Programme,

Friends and Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


A very good evening to all of you.

First of all, I would like to express our deep appreciation to Mr Khaw Boon Wan for taking time off his busy schedule to be our Guest-of-Honour at tonight's dinner. It is indeed our privilege to have you grace this occasion today. Thank you, Mr Khaw.

I would also like to thank Minister of State, Mrs Josephine Teo for joining us this evening.  Thanks to guidance from Mrs Teo, we know we have got the vision for this Future China Advanced Leaders Programme right.

Programme adds to NTU’s track record in China-related training

The Future China Advanced Leaders Programme is a welcome addition and a boost to Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) leading position in training senior officials, business leaders, and bankers from China and China-related programmes.

The Future China programme will help to accelerate the two-way flow of people, ideas, research and training, that will benefit both China and Singapore.  Indeed, the programme may well help to ignite new ideas for closer collaboration and engagement between our two countries, while extending opportunities for more robust economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.

The Future China participants will certainly be able to leverage NTU's deep links in China, as NTU has more than 20,000 alumni from China, with more than 16,000 alumni living or working there.  Furthermore, 28 out of the 37 overseas-based NTU alumni associations are located in China.  Our strong alumni base there will provide a huge resource and network for Future China participants to form friendships and alliances.

NTU’s heritage and international standing make the university a vital knowledge hub that combines the best of the East and the West.  Indeed, NTU has identified this New Silk Road as one of our five Peaks of Excellence under its five-year strategic plan to become a great global university by 2015. The other Peaks of Excellence are: Sustainable Earth, New Media, Future Healthcare, and Innovation Asia.


Congratulations to participants and all involved

NTU and Business China had set out three key objectives for the Future China programme participants: to help you become “China-ready”, “China-savvy” and “Connected with China”.  I am happy to say that based on your feedback, we have achieved these three objectives well. 

So on behalf of NTU and Nanyang Business School (NBS), I wish to congratulate all participants for your active involvement and for successfully completing the Future China Advanced Leaders Programme.  Taking time off from your busy work schedule to attend this programme was a challenge.  But I believe your time has been well spent. 

I would also like to commend our colleagues from Business China and NBS for their hard work to make this programme a success.  It was initially quite a challenge for the team to put together the content and pitch it at the right level and tone, because of the participants’ diverse backgrounds and training needs.  Gathering together 21 lecturers and speakers from Singapore and China and putting in place world-class services for the participants for such a short programme was also no mean feat.  But the team has come through with flying colours.

I also wish to thank 山东省人民政府驻新加坡经贸代表 (Shandong Provincial Government’s Economic and Commercial Representative Office in Singapore) for helping to organise the visits to Shandong Qufu, Jinan, and Qingdao. 

And to all the instructors and speakers, we are indeed grateful to you for graciously sharing your knowledge and personal experiences with the participants.  We are now truly “China-ready”, “China-savvy” and “Connected with China”.

This may be the first Future China programme, but it is certainly not the last.  Both NBS and Business China are committed to run the programme on a yearly basis.  We hope this will enable our Singapore business leaders to better understand how to do business in China and thereby contribute to closer cooperation between Singapore and China.

I therefore urge you to spread the word for us, recommend your colleagues and friends to join us at the Future China Advanced Leaders Programme next year, and in the years to come.

I wish you all a pleasant evening.

Thank you.  

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