This is the fifth AED and the second one organised by PIC, a prominent policy research think tank based in Pune, with the well-known scientist Dr. R A Mashelkar as its President and the noted economist, Dr. Vijay Kelkar, as Vice President.
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Post Covid-19 Global Trade and Finance Dynamics’ featuring high-level international participation from foreign ministers of a number of countries, senior bureaucrats, industry leaders and global financial experts.
The former Indian Ambassador to China, Pakistan and Bhutan, Mr. Gautam Bambawale is the Convenor of AED 2021. Ambassador Bambawale, Trustee, PIC, said about the forthcoming conference: “The Asia Economic Dialogue is a geoeconomics conference supported by India’s Ministry of External Affairs. This edition will discuss how the world recovers from the economic aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic including how global supply chains may be re-aligned.”
This major international event will begin on February 26 at 11:00 AM (IST) with the inaugural session on ‘Resilient Global Growth in a Post-Pandemic World’. External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar and other foreign ministers will deliver their addresses at this session which will be chaired by Dr. Naushad Forbes, Co-Chairman, Forbes & Marshall and Trustee, PIC. This will be followed by a session on ‘Global Finance in a Post Covid-19 World’ to be chaired by Dr. K.V. Kamath, former president, New Development Bank (BRICS).
The third session of the conference on ‘Building Reliable Global Supply Chains’ will take place on Saturday, February 27th from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM (IST) and will feature top business leaders from Asian countries in a panel discussion to be chaired by Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, CEO, 5F World and Trustee, PIC. Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Hung, Chairman, Sovico Group, Vietnam, will be among the participants in the panel discussion.
Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the WTO (World Trade Organisation) from Australia, South Africa, Jamaica and India will be among the participants in Session IV on ‘Whither WTO Post Covid-19 Pandemic?’ This session on Saturday, February 27th from 4:30 PM to 5:45 PM (IST) will be chaired by Mr. J.S. Deepak, former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the WTO. Dr. Abhijit Das, Head and Professor, Centre for WTO Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi, is also a panellist in this session.
The last day of AED 2021 on Sunday, February 28, will feature a session on ‘Perspectives on India’s International Development Cooperation’ from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM (IST). The panel discussion for this session includes participants such as foreign ministers from Bhutan (Dr. Tandi Dorji); Maldives (Mr. Abdulla Shahid); Mauritius (Mr. Nandcoomar Bodha) and Commerce Secretary (Economic Relations), Mr. Rahul Chhabra. This session will be chaired by former Foreign Secretary and Member, PIC, Mr. Vijay Gokhale.
The Foreign Secretary, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan, will speak at the session on ‘India as a Global Partner’ on Sunday, February 28 from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM (IST). Mr. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times, will chair this session.
The conference will be streamed live on YouTube for the benefit of a global audience.