Welcome remarks to the inaugural Concordia Indo-Pacific Initiative
The direct costs of malaria-related illnesses and deaths is estimated by the CDC to be at least $12 billion USD per year. The indirect cost to lost economic growth for countries with high rates of transmission and deaths is much higher. Yet, recent problems with vaccine production and investment, coupled with resource and capacity distractions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could seriously impact the vaccine’s rollout. While the highest rates of malaria transmission occur in the African continent, transmission also occurs in countries across the Indo-Pacific region. In the Western Pacific region, more than 700 million people are still at risk of malaria, but recent cutbacks by major donors have substantially reduced coverage and increased the likelihood of resurgence. Since 2019, GAVI, The Global Fund, and Unitaid have been the main drivers of a pilot program to generate evidence for the widespread use of a novel malaria vaccine. In a historic announcement on October 6th, the W.H.O. announced its approval of the vaccine for children at-risk, the first-ever vaccine developed to treat malaria. This vaccine will not just be the first to treat this disease, but the first to treat any parasitic disease. With an efficacy of about 50 percent against severe malaria in year one, this vaccine is the biggest development in the fight against a disease that still claims the lives of over 250,000 children every year and more than 400,000 people in total.
As global economies become increasingly interconnected, new challenges and opportunities are shaping the global value chain. ESG factors, like labor rights and climate change, have become impossible for governments and corporations to ignore as the decoupling of major economies seems less and less likely. The convergence of geopolitical and ESG factors, in particular, are driving policy change in trade and manufacturing across the Indo-Pacific region. This session builds off important conversations that took place at the 2021 Concordia Annual Summit and will focus specifically on the feedback loop that occurs between Indo-Pacific trade, manufacturing, geopolitics, and ESG. There will be an emphasis on how labor rights shape supply chain integrity and resiliency.
Businesses are finding that their home country can be an active stakeholder for their operation, as people are more interested and informed around geopolitical issues. How can this affect companies and their long-term decisions?
While systematic changes have increased economic opportunities for women, cultural gender biases and discrimination as well as the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented women from gaining equal opportunities to their male counterparts in the region. Building on conversations begun at the 2021 Concordia Annual Summit, this session will bring together regional experts to discuss how this gender gap can be minimized and what businesses, governments, and nonprofits can do to help.
The AUKUS security pact between the U.S., the U.K., and Australia is a promising action to curb Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region, but not one that China will take lightly. Military escalation is a likely side effect of this pact, and the rest of the world must stand ready. This session will feature a timely discussion on how Indo-Pacific nations can protect themselves without creating a military standoff.
Geopolitics exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic brought new attention to the global dependence on semiconductors, specifically after semiconductor shortages in the automotive and electronics industries. The semiconductor industry currently sits at a junction between countries such as Taiwan and South Korea serving as the global leaders in manufacturing, while the United States spearheads research and development of new technologies. In this keynote presentation, Bonnie Glick, Director of the Center for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University, will discuss supply chain integrity in the semiconductor industry through tech diplomacy.
U.S Representative Ed Case (D-HI) gives opening keynote remarks to kick off the 2021 Indo-Pacific Initiative
Keynote Remarks from Jose Manuel Barroso, Chair of Gavi and Concordia Leadership Council Member, about the future of malaria prevention.
Digital innovation was critical for the world to function amidst a global crisis, and it will be crucial for bringing governments and companies out of the pandemic’s severe effects. Building off of past discussions regarding digital transformation and the innovative tools for the development of smart cities, this conversation will reframe the conversation for an Indo-Pacific context. This session will convene voices from various public, private, and NGO spaces to address the following questions: What digital tools are key for effective communication and collaboration in the region? What are some obstacles to achieving a digital future for countries in the Indo-Pacific region? How can corporations and governments work together to facilitate rapid digital transformation that can ensure resilience in the face of future disasters?
U.S. Representative Young Kim (R-CA) gives closing keynote remarks.
Concordia gives closing remarks to the inaugural Indo-Pacific Initiative
This is a virtual networking event. Guests virtually attending the 2021 Concordia Indo-Pacific Initiative are encouraged to join Next Step Networking during breaks to discuss in an open forum how their work relates back to the programming content, and connect with other attendees working in similar or relevant fields. Join this session with your camera on!