Programme of the Regional Conference “A Changing Asia in a Transforming World”
Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia
List of speakers
pdf 0.38 MB

The Ninth Asian Regional Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club, titled “A Changing Asia in a Transforming World,” will be held in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on November 21-22, 2018, on the heels of the meetings of ASEAN, APEC and the East Asian Summit.

Programme of the Regional Conference

“A Changing Asia in a Transforming World”

Valdai Discussion Club in partnership with Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, November 21-22, 2018

Hotel Kuala Lumpur


November 21, Wednesday


08:30 – 09:00 Registration of Participants

09:00 – 10:00 Conference Opening


  • Andrey BYSTRITSKIY, Chairman of the Board, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club

  • Tan Sri Rastam MOHD ISA, Chairman and Chief Executive, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia

  • Tatiana NAUMOVA, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media 

Keynote Address

  • YB Senator Dato’ Hj MARZUKI Yahya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia

10:30 – 12:00 Session 1. Asia on the World Map of Security

The center of gravity of international politics and economy is rapidly shifting towards Asia. No serious international issues can be resolved without the active participation of Asian countries. Asia is changing and these changes overlap with changes in a broader global context. In Southeast Asia, international security issues loom as large as in North-East Asia, which traditionally attracts more IR scholars. The concept of “The Asian Paradox” indicates that political relations among countries of the region are not obstacles for economic development and cooperation. Here, the interests of the two main competing world powers – China and the US, intersect and can collide in the near future. What might the collective response be to these and other challenges? How do Russia and Asian countries see the region and its optimal future for mutual development?  


  • Dato’ Dr ZAKARIA Haji Ahmad, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), HELP University Malaysia


  • GAO Fei, Assistant President and Academic Dean of China Foreign Affairs University
  • Dato’ Dr. HAMZAH B A, Director, Centre for Defence and International Security Studies, National Defence University (UPNM)
  • P.S.RAGHAVAN, Convenor, National Security Advisory Board, Government of India
  • Muhammad Samrez SALIK, Director General Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis, National Defence University
  • Georgy TOLORAYA, Executive Director, Russian National Committee on BRICS Research; Director, Asian Strategy Center, Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Science

13:45 – 15:15 Session 2. The Global Economy: New Rules, Old Rules, or a Game Without Rules?

Asian countries have become the main beneficiaries of globalization and in recent years, appear to be not only the manufacturing centre of the world but growing consumer center. Currently the international economy faces challenges of protectionism and trade wars, and the emergence and strengthening of closed regional groupings. At the same time, there is slow progress in the development of flexible and open multilateral agreements - Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Can this trend be reversed? How can its negative consequences be minimized? Does the global economy need new rules of the game or this is not right time for them?


  • Sergey AFONTSEV, Corresponding Member, Russian Academy of Sciences; Head of the Department of Economic Theory, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO)


  • Taisuke ABIRU, Senior Representative, Representative Office in Moscow, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)  

  • Choongjae CHO, Senior Director General, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)

  • Yaroslav LISSOVOLIK, Programme Director, Valdai Discussion Club

  • Alan ORTIZ, President, Philippine Council on Foreign Relations

  • Dato’ STEVEN CM Wong, Deputy Chief Executive, ISIS Malaysia

15:30 – 17:00 Session 3. Dialogue Russia-ASEAN and EEU – ASEAN: Prospects and Limits

Russia and ASEAN interact within the framework of their own regional integration institutions. This opens a window for opportunities while also creating obstacles. In parallel, the share of ASEAN states in Russian external trade as well as Russia’s in ASEAN external trade is modest. Officially, Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) aim to develop dialogue with ASEAN and perhaps create a free-trade zone.

Is there a need to develop far-reaching dialogue between EEU and ASEAN as a union? If there is little chance for this now, what alternative forms of interaction can be proposed? Are there any backups to increase the volume of bilateral trade and investment? What are the most attractive areas for investment in the Russian economy for ASEAN states and vice versa?


  • U KHIN Maung Lynn, Joint Secretary, Myanmar ISIS


  • Aileen S.P. BAVIERA, President and CEO, Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, Inc

  • Hongyul HAN, Professor, Deptartment of Economics, Hanyang University

  • NGUYEN Vu Tung, President, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam

  • Anthony Rogers ROY, Head, Department of International and Strategic Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya

  • Viktor SUMSKY, Director of the ASEAN Center MGIMO University

November 22, Thursday


09:00 – 11:00 Session 4. The Asia-Pacific Region (APR) and Indo-Pacific Region (IPR): How to Balance the Concepts?

So far the APR and IPR appear to be two competing approaches which are widely used by regional and external players. The idea of the IPR is currently viewed with suspicion in China, while being welcomed in India. On the other hand, the positive and not exceptionally anti-Chinese interpretation of the IPR may stimulate the active participation of India in Pacific affairs, and China in the region of the Indian Ocean. For Russia, the APR and IPR are significant as the neighbours of Big Eurasia. Does the IPR have a future as a strategic reality? What is the position of ASEAN states on this question? Is it possible to harmonize these two approaches, making them attractive to each other while taking into account the interests of main players?


  • Timofey BORDACHEV, Programme Director, Valdai Discussion Club; Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics


  • Andrey FROLOV, Editor-in-chief of the “Arms export” magazine

  • Alexei KUPRIYANOV, Researcher of the Sector of International Organizations and Global Political Regulation of the Department of International Political Problems, IMEMO

  • Cheng-Chwee KUIK, Associate Professor, Strategic Studies and International Relations Program, National University of Malaysia (UKM)

  • Nandan UNNIKRISHNAN, Vice President, Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi

  • ZHAO Huasheng, Professor, The Institute for International Studies, Fudan University

11:00 – 11:20 Closing Remarks

Keynote Address

Alexey VOLIN, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation