WIEF Roundtable, Revitalisation and Reform: Catalysing Growth

15-16 December 2021

1.30 PM - 4.30 PM (UTC +8 HOURS)


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of life and devastating economic and social disruption of global proportion. To avoid similar shocks in the future, recovery policies by governments must include innovative strategies to create more resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies.  The business community has an equally important complementary role in overcoming the crisis. Apart from leveraging on digital transformation to hasten the recovery process, strategic collaboration that prioritises positive impact over competitive business considerations can better serve the welfare and interest of the global community.

This WIEF Roundtable organised against the backdrop of a challenging time, brings together governments, multilateral organisations, private sector as well as prominent individuals to address relevant issues pertaining to sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

DAY 1 – 15 December 2021 (Wednesday)
1.30 pm Virtual Login
2.00 pm –
2.10 pm
Welcoming Remarks by Tan Sri Dr. Syed Hamid Albar, Chairman, WIEF Foundation
2.10 pm –
2.30 pm

Keynote Address

2.30 pm –
3.30 pm

Navigating the New Business Reality

Businesses around the world are trying to navigate unchartered waters. With a high level of uncertainty and conditions changing every day, making decisions are becoming more challenging.  Some industry sectors, like tourism and aviation, may be feeling the impact of COVID-19 more than others.

This session will discuss:

  • Priorities and strategies as well as other operational policies adopted by businesses not only to survive but also to grow in these challenging times.
3.30 pm –
3.45 pm

Special Address

3.45 pm –
4.45 pm

Beyond Pandemic: Pursuit of Economic Revival

According to the World Bank, 90 per cent of the world’s economies contracted in 2020.  This downturn severely impacted businesses around the globe with countless people suffering illnesses, losing jobs and their livelihood.

This session will discuss:

  • Short and long-term plans by governments to help their respective countries survive COVID-19 pandemic.

Opportunities provided by the crisis for nations to emerge stronger.

4.45 pm END OF DAY 1
DAY 2 – 16 December 2021 (Thursday)
2.00 pm –

Special Address

2.15 pm –
3.15 pm

Collaborate. Innovate. Accelerate

COVID-19 and its accompanying economic downturn posed various challenges for young entrepreneurs.  International surveys suggest that nearly 90 per cent of young entrepreneurs report a negative impact on their businesses.

This session will discuss:

  • Collaborative measures and support necessary to help scale-up young entrepreneurs.
  • New innovations and leveraging market opportunities.
  • Changing business models and use of technology to accelerate growth.
3.15 pm –
3.30 pm

Special Address

3.30 pm –
4.30 pm

Urban Farming and Agritech: Feeding the Nation

Global urban farming market is expected to reach US$ 236.4 billion by 2023.  The COVID-19 pandemic has however, highlighted the urgency for nations to ensure their food security.  Expanding urban farms and the adoption of agritech whilst complementing the output of traditional farms, will help accelerate this objective.

This session will explore:

  • Role of urban farms and use of agritech in creating an urban farming ecosystem.
  • Challenges in high-tech urban farming, especially in sourcing and identifying appropriate applications, sensors, and technologies.
  • How to attract industry players and stakeholders to explore urban farming as an investment.



  • The Organisers reserve the right to alter the content and timing of the programme without prior notice, in the best interest of the event and are not responsible for cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Programme as of 23 September 2021


Tan Sri Tony Fernandes
Chief Executive Officer
AirAsia Group, Malaysia

 Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is the Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group.

Together with Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, they co-founded low-cost carrier AirAsia by buying over an ailing airline and turning it around within two years.  The company has grown from a Malaysian domestic carrier into Asia’s largest low-cost carrier.

An accountant by training, Fernandes began his career in Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.  He returned to Malaysia as Warner Music Group’s Vice President for Southeast Asia before venturing into the airline business.

Fernandes has received numerous honours and awards including the Honour of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, conferred by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in 2011, and the Commander of the Legion d’Honneur, awarded by the French Government.

Fernandes studied in the UK, and qualified as an Associate Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 1991 and Fellow Member in 1996.


Abrar A. Anwar
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
Standard Chartered Malaysia

Abrar A. Anwar is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Malaysia since November 2017.

With close to 30 years of experience, his banking journey has brought him to countries such as India, the UK and Bangladesh, where he first joined the Bank in 2011 as Head of Corporate and Institutional Clients.

In 2015, he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bangladesh. Under his leadership, he positioned the organisation as the most respected and profitable Bank in the country.

Prior to joining Standard Chartered Bangladesh, he was the Managing Director and Head of Global Corporate and Commercial Banking at Citibank NA in Bangladesh as well as Head of Specialist Finance and Advisory Services at ANZ Grindlays Bank..

Abrar is also the Chairman of the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce since 25 August 2020.

He holds a Master of Business Administratiion from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Bangladesh.

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