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The Future of Asia 2019

Nikkei event, Future of Asia, opens with Mahathir speech

Politicians, industry leaders and analysts offer expert views on the region

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks during the 25th Future of Asia conference in Tokyo on May 30. (Photo by Yuki Nakao)

TOKYO -- The Future of Asia conference, sponsored by Nikkei, kicks off in Tokyo on Thursday, with influential leaders taking to the stage to give their views on regional development in the face of geopolitical tensions and disruptive technologies. 

The annual event opens with a keynote address by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, followed by speeches from the prime ministers of Bangladesh and Cambodia. Other leaders in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam and Mongolia, will also address attendees on the first day. 

With much attention focused on U.S.-China trade tensions and Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, a panel of experts from prestigious institutions will discuss the conflict between the world's two biggest economies. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the G-20 summit in June, will give a speech to close the first day.

The Friday sessions will start with a keynote address by the prime minister of Laos, followed by leaders from Asia's fast-growing startups discussing how their businesses will change the world. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will close the two-day conference with a speech. 

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