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More young leaders for a growing network


More young leaders for a growing network

After its inaugural success last year, the Asia New Zealand Foundation Young Leaders Forum brings together more outstanding young people, aged 20 to 34, from New Zealand and Asia for a week-long programme beginning on November 18.

Selected through a competitive application process, the 38 participants have each demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to furthering New Zealand-Asia relations.

Among the New Zealand participants are current and past recipients of Asia:NZ scholarships and awards while other New Zealand participants have substantial, ongoing connections with Asia.

The ten participants from Asia represent ten countries across the region. Most are current and recent holders of New Zealand government or university scholarships.

The purpose is to create a network of young ambassadors who can inspire fresh thinking on how to build a more vibrant and integrated future between New Zealand and Asia.

Asia New Zealand Foundation chair Philip Burdon says he has again been very impressed with the quality of the candidates.

“They represented a new generation of trans-national citizens who were just as comfortable with the Asian values of enterprise, family and scholarship as they are the New Zealand values of innovation, imagination, hard work and trust,” he said.

“The importance of ongoing dialogue, exchange and co-operation between New Zealand and other countries in the Asian region cannot be overstated. At the heart of this engagement are the links created by personal contact.”

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Mr Burdon says, with this year’s forum and last year’s participants, the foundation’s Young Leaders Network will grow larger, stronger and more diverse.

Last year, the 37 participants included nine candidates from nine Asian countries from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines - medicine, business, science and the arts. They included undergraduate and post-graduate students as well as recent graduates.

In 2007, members of the Young Leaders Network have participating in a number of Asia New Zealand Foundation activities.

These have included:
• attended an exclusive dinner with Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew
• assisted with VIPs at the Auckland Lantern Festival’s official opening
• participated in the Action Asia Business Forum and gala dinner
• held networking events with other young leaders in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
• written articles for the Asia:NZ Review magazine and website
• met Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

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