Corporate Press Release
Credit Suisse unveils strong line-up of speakers for 18th Asian Investment Conference as the global economy enters into a new norm, and new political leadership presents the potential of a new cycle in investment markets
Policy-makers, political leaders, Central Bank officials, Nobel prize winning economists, philanthropists and even astronauts, come to Hong Kong this month to attend one of the city’s largest private sector-organized conferences. The 18th Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference (AIC) comes at a time when tremendous fundamental economic and political changes are underway, bringing together more than 40 renowned speakers from around the world to address key issues in financial and investment markets today. On the agenda are a wide range of issues including: the increasingly apparent economic divergence being witnessed in the global economy; the political and economic reforms sweeping China; the megatrends shaping India as a new government takes hold; the forces at play in the energy markets; ongoing and sometimes unpredictable geopolitical risk; the challenges and opportunities under new leadership in Indonesia; and the emergence of the new frontier markets of Asia.
This year, the conference is set against the backdrop of a global economy showing a remarkable divergence of performance. On the one hand, the US and the UK are enjoying a sturdy improvement in business, most visible in the labor markets; on the other hand, the circumstances in China, Japan and Europe are far more challenging, with central banks instituting balance sheet expansion programs to curb deflationary pressure amid weak economic conditions. This disparity in policy direction among central banks is a key theme for 2015. Monetary policy is expected to tighten in the US in the second half year, but monetary easing is taking place in the Eurozone area, China, Japan, and proceeding only slowly and cautiously in India.
Credit Suisse Asia Pacific CEO Helman Sitohang said: “This year’s Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference comes at a time when there are a wide range of issues and uncertainties that investors and companies are grappling with. Economic policies around the world appear to be diverging, while political changes have swept across Asia in the last 12 months, with new governments in India and Indonesia and political reform in China. Changes such as these create volatility in asset markets at times – particularly seen in the energy markets. A key issue for our clients will be how best to make use of these conditions so they can achieve their own strategic ambitions and goals.”
“Credit Suisse brings together a wide range of government, economic and corporate leaders, to discuss and debate these issues and provide some insight into the way forward. Our ability to assemble such a group of highly informed and influential leaders is part of our mission in Asia Pacific to give our clients the tools to succeed and underpins our ambition to be the Entrepreneur's Bank of Asia, helping our clients to understand the issues of the day and gain from them,” Mr. Sitohang said.
More than 8,500 private meetings and workshops with clients and corporates are expected to take place during the five-day program, offering unrivalled corporate access to complement the AIC’s thematic keynote addresses and panels, as well as presentations from Credit Suisse’s highly-ranked economic, sector and market strategy research experts.
Among the speakers, Credit Suisse is pleased to welcome José Manual Barroso, former President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Portugal, who will discuss the prospects for Europe and whether it will succeed in striking the balance between sustainable growth and fiscal rigor; and in implementing the necessary structural reforms to make its economies more competitive. For a decade until the end of October 2014, Mr. Barroso headed the EU executive, successfully shepherding the continent through some of its darkest hours, including the near break-up of the Eurozone.
In contrast to the European Central Bank’s aggressive Quantitative Easing policies to achieve meaningful growth, the US Federal Reserve is preparing to hike interest rates as the US economy gets back on its feet. Richard W. Fisher, outgoing President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, will discuss the policy prescriptions that are needed to build on the growth momentum of the US economy. As one of the most outspoken anti-inflation stalwarts of the Fed, Mr. Fisher has long called for the central bank to start raising interest rates and for a withdrawal of Fed stimulus.
Robert J. Shiller, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Economics and Distinguished Professor of Economics, Yale University, also attends the AIC this year. Renowned for his work on the movement of asset prices, he will offer his perspectives on how we can foresee the broad, long-term direction of markets, and whether there is any pattern that can be discerned for the future.
From China, Professor Liu Mingkang, Distinguished Fellow at the Fung Global Institute and former Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, will deliver a keynote address on new governance in China – maintaining the rule of law, as China embarks on a journey to reform both political and investment markets. While from India, the AIC welcomes Dr. Duvvuri Subbarao, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, who will discuss the monumental economic and political changes taking place in the world’s largest democracy and answers the question of whether under a new government, India really can now achieve the full potential that so many believe it is capable of.
The geopolitical agenda also remains a potential ‘black swan’ for investors, and the AIC once again this year seeks to highlight the potential risks and developments across the globe that can affect investment markets. Credit Suisse is excited to host at this year’s AIC one of the premier experts in the field who has been at the sharp end of dealing with crisis and conflict globally: Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secretary General of NATO and the former Prime Minster of Demark. He will outline the next potential hotspots around the world, and how investors need to take note.
Japan will also be a major topic for discussion at this year’s AIC. The early positive momentum that came from Abenomics has faltered in recent months, with many questioning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ability to truly implement meaningful change. One of his closest policy advisors, Dr. Motoshige Itoh, Professor of Economics, University of Tokyo, and a Member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy for Japan, will share his insights into the next steps that Abenomics will take to ensure Japan can return to sustained growth. Also attending the AIC is Hideo Hayakawa, Senior Executive Fellow at the Fujitsu Research Institute and former Executive Director of Bank of Japan – who almost uniquely has served under both the current and the former central bank governors of the Bank of Japan. As someone who has stood at the center of monetary policy-making in the world’s third largest economy, he is uniquely positioned to discuss what policies are needed for Japan to grow.
Also joining us at the AIC is Professor Bambang Brodjonegoro, the newly appointed Minister of Finance for Indonesia, who will discuss the roadmap for the country, and the policies that are being developed to fulfil Indonesia’s potential under its new President and Government. He is joined by Mirza Adityaswara, Senior Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia, who will also lay out the Central Bank’s priorities in ensuring sustainable growth.
From Thailand – another country that has seen significant political change – the AIC is honored to welcome M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, who will lay out the road ahead for a country looking to maintain economic and political stability, so that investors can feel more confident that the country is back on an even keel.
While from Australia, The Hon Andrew Robb AO, MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, returns again to the AIC to discuss how his country can re-balance its economy, to ensure a more diversified base of economic drivers.
At this year’s AIC, we also look to showcase the new frontier markets of the region, where investment opportunities are beginning to emerge. From Bangladesh, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Syed Abdus Samad, Executive Chairman (Minister), Board of Investment , Prime Minister’s Office, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; His Excellency Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia, Vice Chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and Ravi Karunanayake, newly appointed Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka. They will provide a picture of the economic growth prospects of their markets, the most attractive areas for investment, and the policies they are putting in place to make their countries more open to foreign investors.
Joining this year’s AIC from Hong Kong is also The Honorable C Y Leung, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Regina Ip Lau Suk Yee, Member of the Executive Council and Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Both will discuss the role of Hong Kong as the gateway to China and a global financial center, against the backdrop of the current political and socio-economic environment.
This year’s AIC will also feature a number of senior corporate leaders, who run global companies and are making proven investment decisions every day. The AIC is delighted to welcome Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, Bertrand-Marc (Marc) Allen, President of Boeing International, one of the world’s largest commercial aviation companies, and Yoshimitsu Goto, Director, Executive Corporate Officer, General Manager, Finance at SoftBank, one of the most successful technology investors globally. Each will discuss the realities of doing business in a globalized world, where technology disruption, consumer tastes, environmental pressure and capital market realities all have an impact on strategic decision making.
And staying true to the theme of exploring new markets, the AIC is also welcoming two individuals who are leading efforts to open up markets in space. From Virgin Galactic, the company seeking to provide commercial flights beyond Planet Earth, we are pleased to welcome Chief Pilot Dave Mackay and Commercial Director, Stephen Attenborough, who will share their first-hand experiences of making space travel and exploration a reality.
Credit Suisse’s leading economists and strategists will also provide their insight into global, regional and sectoral investment themes during the conference.
For more information, including the agenda, coverage of the conference on the AIC Blog, interviews and video replays of some conference sessions, please visit credit-suisse.com/aic. We also invite you to follow the AIC’s dedicated Twitter feed: @csapac.
Kindly note that selected keynote addresses and panels will be open to media representatives, who are requested to reference the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference when quoting any speaker at the conference. However, company presentations and panels (unless otherwise specified) are not open to the press. Please refer to the media program and registration form, which will be distributed separately, for details.