Khamis, 21 April 2011

AYFIC 2011 kicks off with launch at Labuan Financial Park

LABUAN (APRIL 18, 2011) The three-day ASEAN Youth Forum on Innovation and Creativity (AYFIC 2011) kicks off today with the official launch by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili at Labuan’s Financial Park today.

The opening of the forum also included a keynote address by Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Datuk Misran Karmain and an address by California State University’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Executive Director Prof Timothy Stearns.

The forum, organised by Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia and the Department of National Unity and Integration, bring together over 300 participants from all ASEAN + 3 member countries including South Korea, China and Japan.

Themed ‘Youth and Innovation as Agents of Change’, it aims at giving a platform for ASEAN youths to share their insights and experience on innovation and creativity, while encouraging networking and collaboration among them towards promoting innovation in their respective countries as well as within ASEAN.

AYFIC 2011 is endorsed by ASEAN and participated by youths between 18 and 35 years old, who were selected by their respective countries. During AYFIC, participants will attend forum and workshop sessions as well as social innovation projects.

The participants also participate in homestay programmes to expose them to the culture and beauty of Malaysia and Labuan, which was selected for its strategic location.

Datuk Seri Dr Maximus, in his opening speech, said the shift from being not just consumers but a nation of innovators was important not only for Malaysia but to the ASEAN region.

“We are at the crux of a new era for this region. The shift from traditional developed powers to the emerging Asian economies is inevitable, as acknowledged during the World Economic Forum in Davos this January.

“The global economic recovery is being driven predominantly by Asian economies, and as such the opportunity for all of us in ASEAN, particularly the youth is incredible.

“The planned establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 will further enhance this region’s standing and competitiveness in the global arena.

“ASEAN+3 is one of the most important organisations within ASEAN with the goal of improving existing ties with China, Japan and South Korea. Having held its first leaders meeting back in 1997, ASEAN+3 has a long history of cooperation and goodwill,” he added.

As such, the AYFIC involving ASEAN+3 nations is another milestone in the grouping’s history and will continue the noble spirit of cooperation and collaboration among members.

During the launch, a workshop called KIDSINVENT was also held for 120 children between the ages of five and 14, to spark their interest on discoveries in science, mathematics, entrepreneurship and engineering concepts via engaging and entertaining activities.

Secretary-General of the World Assembly of Youth Ediola Pashollar will present a paper on Leadership and Innovation on Tuesday while other speakers are Co-Founder of Malaysia Youth Climate Justice Network Khairun Nisa Mohamed Zabidi on Green Innovation) and TandemFund Chief Operating Officer Kal Joffres (Social Innovation).

Other activities include community engagements such as tree planting at the Botanical Garden hosted by Perbadanan Labuan, Malaysia arts and craft activities at Patau-Patau 1 Water Village, creative performances by each participating country as well as cultural shows.

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