Text authored by PERDANA LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION, Malaysia, on Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What do knowledge economy experts think about Malaysia’€™s vision to become a knowledge-driven economy by the year 2020?

8 New Club of Paris members together with 20 selected Malaysian participants, discussed issues related to the above topic at the Round Table ’€œBridging the Knowledge Divide – Building the Malaysian Link’€, held at the Crowne Plaza Mutiara today. The Round Table is jointly organised by the Perdana Leadership Foundation and the New Club of Paris.

Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia and Honorary President of Perdana Leadership Foundation chaired the one-day discourse. The eight New Club of Paris members, Professor Leif Edvinsson, Professor Ahmed Bounfour, Prof. Günter Koch, Dr Jean-Eric Aubert (via tele-conference), Dr. Eduardo Rath Fingerl, Professor Pirjo StÖ¥hle, Mr.Takayuki Sumita and Dr. Piotr K. Stryszowski and four Malaysian speakers Professor Danny Quah from the London School of Economics, Datuk Dr. Mahani Zainal Abidin of the Institute Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Professor Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar of the International Institute for Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) and Professor Dr. Mahendhiran Nair of Monash University Malaysia, presented their views and perspectives on the topic. Also present at the Round Table were the Minister of Trade and Industry, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Dato’ Dr. Mahani Zainal Abidin of Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia (ISIS), Prof. Jomo Sundaram of the United Nations, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid of Malaysia Airlines, Datuk Shahril Shamsuddin of SapuraCrest Petroleum and Dato’ Dr. Michael Yeoh of Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI).

The one day closed door meeting started with keynote speeches by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Prof. Leif Edvinsson who highlighted that the cost to Malaysia for not leveraging enough on its knowledge-based capabilities could run as high as RM2.5 trillion, stressing that as a first-mover in the knowledge arena (he highlighted the MSC as a good early initiative by Malaysia to push itself to the knowledge economy), Malaysia must do more to transform its economy.

This set the tone for the rest of the sessions which dealt with issues such as, ’€œWhat is the nature of the economy of intangibles, and why is it important for Malaysia to make the leap to this economy?’€, ’€œWhat are the major challenges for Malaysia in making the transition?’€. ’€œWhere is Malaysia now: socially, economically and politically?’€ and ’€œHow do we build Malaysia’€™s capacity to bridge the knowledge divide, and become a hub for a global national and international link for knowledge in development?’€. Examples of Finland’€™s and Sweden’€™s successes, as well as other policy initiatives undertaken in countries such as Brazil were highlighted by the speakers.

Click here to view the Videos of the Round table. (It should be noted that some of the files are big so download time will be dependent on your individual connection speed. You are advised to use the ‘save’ option and then play it back as required.)

While the Round Table is a step towards more active dialogue on policy and social issues related to the knowledge economy, The New Club of Paris will formulate a set of recommendations for Malaysia in its transformation to becoming a successful economy based on its intangible assets. The recommendations will be presented to government.

The Round Table is an emerging but already proven instrument used by the New Club of Paris experts to successfully engage with high-level policy makers (the Prime Minister of Finland, the Moroccan ONA Foundation, the Austrian Government ad Parliament, the City of Shenzhen in China and more’€¦). The Round Table in Kuala Lumpur will be instrumental in revitalising the Malaysian knowledge economy and society agenda, taking advantage of experiences gained by the members of The New Club of Paris, who are experts in different cultural and societal settings. More information on the Round Table, as well as speaker presentations, can be found at the Foundation’€™s website

Tomorrow, on the 16th of June, the speakers will be engaging members of the public on various topics related to the Knowledge Economy. The dialogues will be hosted by ISIS (Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia), IAIS

The New Club of Paris is the agenda developer for the Knowledge Economy. The Club’€™s main objective is to create awareness on what the knowledge society is and will be, and also support nations, regions, cities, communities, organisations and companies in their transformation into the Knowledge Economy.

Read news from external sources reflecting upon the discussion:

1. A Public Dialogue on: Values-based Development.

2. Start of a Discourse between IAIS and the NCP.By Prof. DI Günter Koch, General Secretary of The New Club of Paris (NCP). Download PDF file (10.35MB) (Note: This is a big file, so it will take quite some time to download depending on your internet connection speed)

3. Perdana Leadership Foundation.

4. Malaysia in Transition. Set to be fully developed.

5. Essence of Values by Din Merican.

6. Videos from The Round Table of The New Club of Paris in and for Malaysia. (It should be noted that some of the files are big so download time will be dependent on your individual connection speed. You are advised to use the ‘save’ option and then play it back as required.)