Ferdaus Ara Begum
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), Bangladesh
Mrs. Ferdaus Ara Begum is presently working as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD). Mrs. Begum has vast experience of working with the private sector since 1987.
A Master's degree holder in Economics from Dhaka University, she completed her post-graduate Diploma in International Economics and Institutions and received training from AIT, Thailand on Project Implementation and Management. She attended Training on Services and International Trade Law and development in Esami, Arusha and Tanzania. She has previously acted as the In-Charge of the DCCI Research Cell for several years and served as Secretary of the DCCI for some time, as well as working as Executive Director of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry for a number of years.
She has managed numerous projects and coordinated a number of national and international programmes, contributing her extensive expertise in the areas of policy research and advocacy, SME development and promotion, research on Multilateral Training System (MTS),project management, women entrepreneurship development, chamber management etc. She has also worked for CIPE, ITC, JETRO, GIZ in different capacities.
Managing Director, Astana International Financial Centre Authority, Kazakhstan
Baurzhan Bektemirov is a Managing Director at Astana International Financial Centre Authority, the administrative body for the initiative recently launched in Astana, Kazakhstan. He is overseeing strategy & research, business development, as well as promotion of financial technologies.
Having previously held managing positions at the Research Department of the National Bank of Kazakhstan and the government’s Economic Research Institute, Mr. Bektemirov is interested in macroeconomic analysis, economic modeling, public policy analysis, and international development. He was involved in setting up the transition to a new monetary policy regime at the National Bank of Kazakhstan and participated in designing long-term development strategy for Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund. Bektemirov’s academic interests include political economy of privatization and contract theory.
Mr. Bektemirov holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Harvard College and a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
Associate Lecturer, Loughborough Design School, Loughborough University, UK
Andre Brito is a documentary filmmaker, videographer and associate lecturer at Loughborough Design School, where he teaches innovative approaches to rapid-prototyping such as blending video storytelling with User Experience (UX) Design, Design for Social Innovation and Design Thinking (‘video-prototyping’). His documentaries have been screened publicly, including at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where his documentary “Conscripted” (2009) was selected for screening at the Cinema of the Portuguese-Speaking World course in 2012. His latest cinematography work, “Back to the Drawing Board”, a documentary directed by Pawas Bisht, premiered at the Westminster Theatre, Keele University, in January 2017.
Andre has eight years of international experience with corporations and institutions such as the RECODE Network, Imagination Lancaster, Bournemouth, Cranfield, Keele, Lancaster and Loughborough universities, the Fung Global Institute, Li & Fung, Green Gaia Films, the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), among others. He has an MA in Documentary by Practice from Royal Holloway University of London, as well as a professional background in print journalism and advertising.
Country Manager, India, HarvestPlus, India
Binu Cherian is the Country Manager of HarvestPlus India, a global research program under Agriculture for Health and Nutrition (A4NH) of Consultative Group for International Agriculture and Research (CGIAR) that develops and deploys biofortified nutritious food staple crops to reduce hidden hunger among malnourished populations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He leads cross discipline integration of research, development, testing and marketing strategy for an efficient delivery of biofortified crops in India through multi-disciplinary partnerships. He has successfully developed partnerships platforms with public, private and grass root institutions.
Prior to HarvestPlus, he had worked in private sector organization managing large scale cultivation programs, sourcing raw materials for optimum quality, building sustainable and cost effective supply chain linkages from farm to gate and commercialization of projects in food and pharma ingredients in different geographies. He holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture and Management.
Suresh Kumar Dhameja
Professor and Head, Department of Entrepreneurship Development and Industrial Coordination, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, India
Dr. Suresh Kumar Dhameja is presently working as Professor and Head, Department of Entrepreneurship Development and Industrial Coordination at National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, Chandigarh (Under Ministry of HRD, Government of India).
Dr Dhameja’s areas of expertise are Entrepreneurship and MSME Management, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Accreditation and Quality Management, and Industry Academia Interaction. He has a total work experience of 30 Years of Teaching, Training and Research. He also has 3 years of International experience as Faculty Consultant in an Inter-governmental organization namely Colombo Plan Staff College, Manila, Philippines.
Professor Dhameja has visited more than 23 countries of the world for his work assignments and has many honours and distinctions to his credit. He has received certificates of appreciation from many international dignitaries including Ambassadors, Secretary Generals, Director Generals, and Executive Secretary and is on the panel of many international and national organizations. He has also chaired technical sessions in many international and national conferences.
Dr Dhameja has done Consultancy and Research Projects for World Bank, ADBI, UNESCO and many national organizations. He has authored and Edited 22 books (Both International and National) in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Technical and Vocational Education and Environmental Engineering and Management.
Trade Commissioner, Pacific Trade & Invest (PT & I), New Zealand
Michael Greenslade is the Trade Commissioner for Pacific Trade & Invest (PT & I) based in Auckland New Zealand. PT & I is the International Trade and Investment organisation of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat which itself is based in Suva Fiji.
Michael has recently spent had 12 years working in fields of Economic Development and Trade & Investment in the Pacific working for the New Zealand Governments Economic Development Agency New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE). During this time, together with his family, he spent 5 years living in Suva Fiji.
Michael’s previous background was Commercial with the Private Sector where he has worked in a hands on capacity in a range of business functions including Advisory , Governance, Strategy, General Management, Export Marketing and Supply Chain Management. He has had specific sector experience in Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Manufacturing and ICT.
Michael is a life member of the Fiji New Zealand Business Council and currently sits on the executive of 6 Auckland based Pacific Business Councils.
Michael has an Masters of Business Administration specialising in International Trade.
Michael is married to Kate , has 4 children and a dog called Mattie.
Head, TIR Audit and Admission, International Road Transport Union (IRU)
Youlian Guenkov is the Head of TIR Audit and Admission at the International Road Transport Union (IRU). He has held this position since 1994. Prior to IRU Mr. Guenkov worked for the Association of International Road Carriers (AEBTRI) in Bulgaria. He has extensive experience in the field of international road transportation.
Mr. Guenkov participated in the International Fellowship Program at Johns Hopkins University Institute for Policy Studies and completed a study on “Intermodal Freight Transportation – System That Works”. He also holds a degree in economics and management of the transport sector from the Higher Institute of Economics in Bulgaria.
Mohd Desa Hj Hassim
Chief Executive Officer, International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), Malaysia
Dr. Mohd. Desa Hj Hassim is the Chief Executive Officer of International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) based in Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
He has a Ph.D. in Agriculture Research and Development from Kasetsart University (KU), Thailand, a Master of Science in Corporate Communication from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM).
Before joining TFNet, he was an Agriculture Officer in the Department of Agriculture Malaysia since 2001. He has vast experience working with several divisions as an Agriculture Officer at Industrial Crop and Floriculture Division, District of Bentong, then promoted to be the Head of Agribusiness Unit, Agricultural Extension and Agro-based Division, Department of Agriculture Putrajaya.
In recognition of his talents and potential, the government of Malaysia had awarded him a scholarship to pursue his Ph.D. programme in Thailand from 2008 – 2012. Upon completion of his PhD, he returned to the country to serve at Agriculture Extension Training Institute, Serdang as its Deputy Director. Six months later, he was promoted to be the Head of Agriculture Division at Integrated Agriculture Development Area (IADA), Northwest of Selangor State working with farmers’ environment to promote rice in integrated agriculture development areas.
Head, Sustainable Development and Goods Transport, International Road Transport Union (IRU)
Jens Hügel is Head of Sustainable Development and Goods Transport at the International Road Transport Union (IRU). He joined the IRU in 2001 as Head of Economic Affairs and later became Head of Economic Affairs, Road Safety and Intermodal Transport. He currently heads the Sustainable Development and Goods Transport section of the IRU and has done so since 2008.
After studying at the University of Groningen, Netherlands and Texas A&M University, College Station, United States, he graduated from the University of Frankfurt a.M., Germany, with a degree in Geography. Following postgraduate research he was employed by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ German Technical Cooperation) as Political Advisor.
Between 1998 and 2001 Mr Hügel worked as Legislative Assistant for the Czech Minister of Transport and a Member of the European Parliament with a focus on contributing to the work of the European Parliament Committee on Transport and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Mr Hügel currently holds several Board and Representative positions and has an extensive portfolio of publications.
Born in Plettenberg in 1968 and currently living in Geneva, Mr Hügel is a German national, is married and a father of 2 girls.
Managing Director, Astana International Financial Centre Authority, Kazakhstan
He has an 18-year work experience, including 15 years in public service and 12 years in leadership position.
He started working at the Strategic Agency of Kazakhstan in 1998, and then continued at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Kazakhstan. During 2007-2013, Aidar headed the Trade committee of the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning of Kazakhstan, responsible for the successful promotion of Astana bid to host EXPO-2017 International specialised exhibition, small business development, introduction of thresholds of prices for socially important food products, etc.
In 2014-2015 he took the position of the Director of International and Public Relations Department of the National Bank of Kazakhstan. He has a doctoral degree in economics. Aidar has a number of published papers on economics and finance.
Founder and Owner, Faraday Consult SPRL
Christian Kjaer has extensive professional experience in the renewable energy sector having worked in this field for almost 17 years. He is the Founder and Owner of Faraday Consult SPRL based in Brussels, Belgium. He is also currently a member of the Board of Directors of Recharge News, Head of Strategy of Windfire BV, co-owner of SkillsHouse and a member of the Board of Trustees of the charity Renewable World.
Mr. Kjaer previously was the Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) between 2006 and 2013. Prior to this he was an Economist and Policy Advisor at the Danish Wind Industry Association.
He has a Masters degree in International Business from the Copenhagen Business School and the Graduate School if International Economics and Finance at Brandeis University in Boston. He also holds a Bachelor degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Copenhagen Business School.
Mr. Kjaer is also an expert reviewer of various reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has participated in more than 500 conferences on renewable, wind power, energy and electricity markets.
Ju Song Lee
Executive Director, International Chamber of Commerce, Regional Office, Asia, Singapore
The ICC, Regional Office, Asia, managed by Mrs Lee, provides a visible profile for ICC in the region; actively promotes international trade facilitation through the spread of the ATA Carnet System; promotes ICC and the use of ICC arbitration/commercial and business dispute resolution services; services its members in the region.
Mrs Lee is also Chair of the ICC World Chambers Federation International Certificate of Origin Council and a member of the ICC WCF World ATA Carnet Council and ATA Carnet Administrative Committee. Mrs Lee is also a member of the WCF Executive Committee and the WCF General Council.
She is an ICC specialist in international trade facilitation and documentation. She is also actively involved in setting up the ICC WCF International Certificate of Origin Chain.
An economist by training, Mrs Lee is also actively involved in promoting international trade facilitation as ICC WCF Carnet Advisor. Her active involvement in trade facilitation matters and capacity building programmes brings her to work with various international and regional organisations in promoting international trade facilitation, trade and investment co-operation, economic integration, trade and e-documentation and chamber management. These include World Customs Organisation (WCO), WTO, UN, UNDP, UNCTAD, World Bank, ADB, ADB Institute, APEC, ASEAN, SAARC, GCC, CACCI and Customs Training Colleges.
Dr. Watcharas Leelawath
Director of Mekong Institute (MI)
Dr. Watcharas Leelawath is the Director of Mekong Institute (MI). Prior to joining MI, he was the Deputy Executive Director of the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) in-charge of planning, supervising and conducting research projects, training programs and various capacity building activities.
Dr. Leelawath earned his undergraduate degree from Chulalongkorn University and his MA and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kansas, USA. Right after obtaining his Ph.D., he worked as Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota, Morris, USA where he taught International Economics and Mathematics for Economists.
Dr. Leelawath is a trade economist with a strong interest in trade and development cooperation issues under GMS and ASEAN frameworks. He has extensive research experience in the fields of International Labor Migration, Human Capital and Regional Economic Integration. He has written several papers for presentation in local and international conferences, has published several articles on trade-related topics and has co-authored a book entitled “Economics and Trade in Goods: An Introduction.” He provided his expertise in a number of capacity building activities organized by ITD, ADB, UNESCAP, WTO and Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA).
Chief Representative, Pacific Islands Forum (China), China
David Morris is an international diplomat, trade and investment adviser and commentator.
Mr Morris is the Chief Representative in China of the Pacific Islands Forum, the inter-governmental organization of the independent nations of Oceania. He leads the Pacific Islands Forum Trade and Investment Commission in China, promoting trade, investment, tourism and creative industries for the fourteen Pacific Island Member States of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Mr Morris grew up in Hobart, Tasmania. After graduating from the University of Sydney with BA (Honours), he was recruited to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. As an Australian diplomat, Mr Morris had short-term postings to the European Union Presidency and the United Nations General Assembly and long -term postings to Hungary and Ireland, reporting on rapid political and economic change in Europe. He was a major contributor to Gareth Evans’s award-winning UN reform blueprint Cooperating for Peace, published on peacekeeping and established the first “Australia Week” country promotions. He completed an MBA at Henley Business School.
As Chief of Staff in the Tasmanian State Government, Mr Morris led policy development and governance reforms including Tasmania Together, at the time the world’s largest deliberative democracy project. He advised on key economic and industry development priorities including Tasmanian food and wine export promotion in Asia and environmental protection. Mr Morris coordinated whole- of-government economic engagement with the Asia Pacific for the New South Wales State Government, as Director, International Business Relations.
He established the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and, as its founding Executive Director, managed the Australian Government’s High Level Roundtables at Shanghai World Expo. Mr Morris has consulted for businesses and governments on trade and investment with China and directed leadership capacity- building programs in Eastern Europe, Australia and South Asia. He also led the re- launch of Australia’s bipartisan movement for constitutional reform and independence, the Australian Republican Movement.
Managing Director, R3ADY Asia-Pacific, USA
Akiko Otani is the Managing Director of R3ADY Asia-Pacific and is based in Washington, DC. Ms. Otani leads R3ADY's strategic efforts to advance disaster risk reduction and resilience programs in the Asia-Pacific region. She brings over 20 years experience working globally in international development and has spent most of her career based in the Asia-Pacific region working closely with international and local organizations, multi-lateral corporate donors and bi-lateral aid agencies. She has a track record of success in designing, implementing, evaluating and managing impactful international development programs which effectively address identified gaps and needs. Most recently, she served as the Director of Operations and Program Management for Project HOPE, a non-profit international health foundation operating in approximately 25 countries. She simultaneously served as the Regional Director of Southeast Asia and Egypt, leading programmatic efforts to building resilient communities by improving the health and welfare of communities devastated by major natural disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the 2013 Philippines Typhoon Haiyan. Ms. Otani received her Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in Canada and a Master's degree in Media and Governance summa cum laude from Keio University in Japan.
Dr. M.P. Poonia
Director, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), India
Born on 7th July, 1959 in a small village of Rajasthan (India), Dr. M.P.Poonia is specialized in areas of Mechanical Engineering (IC Engines, Gas Dyanics, Ref. & AC), Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development. He is M.Tech (Mech.) and Ph.D (Thermal Engg) from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He possesses 27 of total experience, out of which 6 years as Principal of Govt. Engg. College, Bikaner (Rajasthan) and 1 years and two months as Dean, Planning and Development in MNIT, Jaipur, (Rajasthan). He has published 80 papers in National and International Journals and published several books and manuals in the field of Mechanical Engineering. He is the Member of IEI, ISTE & Society of Automotive Engineers. On 20th July, 2012, Dr. Poonia took up the responsibility of Director, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, Chandigarh (India). Dr. Poonia made significant contribution as a Director for the growth and development of technical education in the northern states of India and to conduct of sub-regional and in-country programmes in collaboration with Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education, Manila, Philippines. Under his able leadership, the institute has to its credit the conduct training programme for Nigeria. He has undertaken projects sponsored by All India Council for Technical Education, Deptt. of Science and Technology, Delhi and Govt. of Rajasthan and MHRD, Govt. of India. He is the recipient of many Awards for his academic achievements and National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities – 2013 by the Hon’ble President of India on 3rd December, 2013 in New Delhi in recognition of outstanding performance in the field of Best Institution for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in the country. He is the member of Board of Governors of, as many as 19 Government/Autonomous bodies/Universities in the state of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Delhi and Chandigarh. He has visited many countries USA, China, Thailand, Singapore & Sri Lanka.
Director, International Mining for Development Centre, Australia
Mr. Ian Satchwell is Director of the International Mining for Development Centre, a joint venture between The University of Western Australia and The University of Queensland, supported by the Australian Government. The Centre provides practical research, advisory, education and training services to developing nations across mining-related issues. Ian has 28 years of experience in minerals, energy and development policy at national and international levels, operating at the business-government-community interface. He has worked on projects in Australia, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Until 2011 Ian held senior management roles in Australian economics consultancy firms, advising industry, government and indigenous organizations on strategies for development of minerals and energy projects, infrastructure and local economies. Previously, Ian held executive positions within four different minerals and energy industry bodies. Ian has been closely involved with business and policy advocacy in his past roles as National President of the Australia Indonesia Business Council, Chairman of the Services Forum at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, Director of the Australian Services Roundtable, and Board Member of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.
Project Coordinator, DreamCatchers, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Laurence's first full-time job after graduation has been to incubate and manage his alma mater's DreamCatchers project, an innovation and entrepreneurship initiative targeting students and young alumni. He is also a Resident Tutor of University Hall, a young intellectual community of 110 students with history of over 60 years.
He read Politics and Public Administration at The University of Hong Kong and graduated with a BSocSc in 2014. As President of the HKU Students' Union, he sat on the University Council, the governing body of the University.
Laurence participates in public service actively through serving different advisory bodies of the Hong Kong government. He is currently the Member of the Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee and the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education of the Hong Kong SAR Government.