Singapore Second Minister for Defence Mr Ong Ye Kung hosted breakfast for the Southeast Asian young leaders this morning on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue. Introduced by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 2016, the Southeast Asian Young Leaders' Programme (SEAYLP) brings together young leaders from business, media, academic and government sectors with strong interest in regional defence and security issues.

During the breakfast, Mr Ong noted that globalisation is a double-edged sword, but Southeast Asia can benefit a great deal from it if we leveraged the upsides and managed the downsides. In this aspect, he shared three conditions that had to be in place for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to benefit from globlisation. First, he highlighted the importance for Southeast Asian nations to band together, and maintaining their centrality and neutrality through ASEAN. Mr Ong emphasised that to reap the benefits of trade, ASEAN had to "collectively leverage a common market in Southeast Asia, diplomatically (and) internationally (to) play a big part in international economics." Second, he noted that ASEAN had to continue to embrace its cultural diversity and identity. Third, Mr Ong stressed the need for ASEAN countries to work together to address the issue of potential social dislocation from globalisation by preparing the next generation and developing their skills and talents for the future.

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman also spoke on the SEAYLP luncheon panel this afternoon on the topic "ASEAN's Role and Relevance in Global Strategic Developments". Dr Maliki spoke alongside two other speakers: Australia Ambassador to ASEAN Jane Duke and Special Advisor (Policy) of Canada Department of National Defense Dr James Boutilier.

Source: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MINDEF)