Seven years ago, the University of Cambodia (UC) established the Asia Economic Forum (AEF) as an independent think tank to help promote policy dialogue and greater collaboration between leading policymakers, thinkers, and institutions working to develop the Asia-Pacific region. Its primary goal is to promote sustainable development. Every year since its creation, the AEF has successfully convened an annual forum that has brought together a group of high-level government officials, policymakers, scholars, researchers, public and private sector leaders, representatives of international institutions, and representatives of civil society to participate in plenary sessions and discussions on issues pertinent to the region: economic recovery, Asia’s strategic role, regional peace and security, education, human resource development, gender equality, the environment, climate change, food and energy security, poverty, and the development gap, among many other issues.
The success of every AEF--including the 7th AEF, “The Asian Century in the Making: Achievements, Challenges, and Future Trends”--would not have been possible without the leadership, vision, commitment, and generosity of H.E. Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Founder and Chairman of AEF. He also serves as an Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister, an Adviser to the Royal Government of Cambodia, Chancellor of UC, President and Founder of International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC), and Chairman for Worldwide Support for Development (WSD).
In addition to his responsibilities as Chairman of the 7th AEF, which he has served for seven consecutive years, Dr. Handa also served as the Chair for Plenary Session I, “The Quest for Asia’s Regional Architecture,” and was a distinguished speaker for the opening session of the 7th AEF.
Dr. Handa is not only a multi-talented and accomplished artist, scholar, businessman, and philanthropist, but also a dear friend to the University and AEF.
The AEF and UC extend their most sincere appreciation to Dr. Handa for his leadership and continued support of the program and sustainable development. Additionally, AEF and UC express their sincere gratitude to WSD and IFAC for providing the financial support to successfully launch the First Asia Economic Forum in 2005, and their continuing support for subsequent Fora. Finally, AEF and UC thank WSD and IFAC for supporting other activities of the AEF as well as for providing generous assistance to UC to undertake a number of community projects since 2003.
Source: UC Bulletin September 2011, Page 5