February 08
17:17 2014

In conjunction with the Asia meeting, the WEF hosted its Young Global Leaders Annual Summit in Yangon on 4 June, 2013. More than 200 YGLs, representing business, government, civil society, art and culture, academia and media, as well as social entrepreneurs, took part in the summit.  We present the following interview with some of YGLs who attended that summit.

Jane McAdam,

University of New South Wales,


          I am a professor  in law field in Australia. I joined in through friends, and want to know about local youths in Action Aid. I am interested in Refugee problem and climate change. Myanmar youths should carry on what is needed in cooperation and in their own way. Appeals to WEF on their part are welcomed. In action, you need not think big, but incremental – from family level to peer group to global level.


Soulaima Gourani

Soulaima Gourani ApS, Denmark

          I see the youth aged 15-25 years  will be agent of change for the country. I am satisfied Myanmar youth are hardy and exciting. Themselves more, embracing high aims and dreams. For the fact that the youth abroad and local are both engaged in social affairs and development the friendship between them should breed a big network.         The Myanmar possess a good social relationship with others, and how to maintain it in these changing times is something to be taken into serious consideration.


Saran Kaba Jones

Founder & Executive Director

FACE Africa

I was born in Liberia, of diplomatic personnel. After two decades I found my native country in ruins. So I am resolved to work for the use of potable water, and acquiring an education, skills, and empowerment on the part of women.

FACE Africa I founded in 2009 is a success in bringing potable water to African people. For long-term economic and social development we have established a Monrovia-based company with the aim to conduct small scale production, agriculture and services. I have won a lot of accolades and media reorganization. I was chosen as 2012 World Economic Forum Yangon Global Leader. In this capacity I have attended a great number of YGL meetings in Yangon. I discussed our current activities with local companies and leaders in Nay Pyi Taw. On this visit all my time was spent attending meetings. Surely I will get another opportunity to visit Myanmar.


Ma Thinzar Shun Lae Ye

Country Manager (ASEAN)

Youth Volunteer Network

I am Thinzar Shun Lae Ye, country Manager of ASEAN Youth Volunteer Network. I have served as Volunteer Translator in Volunteer Leadership. I have been chosen for this event  out of six candidates. The World Economic Forum is very outstanding, and difficult of access. Young Global Leaders, part of WEF, is chock-full of under- 40 entrepreneurs and departmental experts. So our ideas have to improve.       Great benefit in that our presentation of problems will receive a response after analysis of them through their expertise.

The youth  in Yangon are different than those in the countryside. Information is easily accessible to Yangon youth. Countryside youth need to catch up. With foreign investment coming in and such like occasions English Language proficiency  becomes a necessity. Countryside people should be on the lookout for information.   Our presentation is like input to them, and we receive encouraging advice from them. They are inspirational what with their sharing, presentation style, etc.




I am member of the Global Shaper community. WEF is the first forum I had attended in Myanmar. Actually, I am artist not a business-person. I am just hoping to see other people’s expectations and Myanmar’s expectation. There’s a rich culture here, people have good heart so I hope things will be good for people.


Amanda McChuskey

Co-Head, Stainability Funds

First State Investments (Singapore)

I was so excited to come to Myanmar to meet the people and learn more about the country in these challenges and how to contribute new ideas. Myanmar food is amazing; I did not know it is so unique. Disadvantage is I cannot stay longer. But I will continually be supporting the entrepreneurs in this investment market of the region.


Cameron Sinclair

Architecture for Humanity Dept of Small Works

I have been to Yangon three times – in 2008, 2010 and now. The transformation is so big that Yangon is hardly recognizable. Music is culture and soul to a country, and its people are knowable through their music. Apart from maintaining own culture music, how to upgrade it and perpetrate its evolution are the questions Myanmar should  take into consideration.


Pyae Phyo Thant

Volunteer (Activista)

My name is Pyae Phyo Thant, with 3 years experience as a Volunteer in Activista. My social work dates further back, and through them I got a chance to attend WEF. The WEF attendees are mostly smart people. These 40-somethings are already company directors, professors, and whatnot.        Attending here, I spoke about what we youth are doing especially as an organization. We should benefit from hearing what they have passed through. Maybe we could work together through contacts like personal visits, e mail. As to Key value of the event, it mainly could be Networking. Common problems among the youth can come under discussion, leading to Knowledge on our part.

Some youth are successful and some have lost their way. My wish is to have moral development only. We need to keep our mind purified.



Suhas Gopinath

CEO & President

Globals Inc. , IT Multinational Company

I had visited the ICT Park and met some ICT entrepreneurs. I think there’s huge job opportunity for ICT companies in Myanmar and also for foreign countries to invest in Myanmar. But the biggest issue will be the infrastructure itself and policy. So I think they should make the policy for the infrastructure right now.The country has to open up in terms of internet speed, phone connection, international roaming.



Ing Francesca Colombo

Segretario generale

Coordinatore artistico

M1 To Settembre Musica

When I arrived here on 2nd June 2013 these amazing people were so kind that I felt like at home. I am very happy to come to Gitamate center because this school is doing a great job preserving traditional music and musical instruments which are unique. To play pop and rock is ok but it is very important to learn to play music piano, traditional music, classical music because music is very powerful for everybody, the rich one, the sad one, the poor one and happy one.



David Hertz


          Holding Young Global Leader Annual Summit in Myanmar is a big chance for us to learn about Myanmar’s culture, history, political system and food. We can discuss about ourselves and to connect with Myanmar to find a way to contribute. Now I am learning about Myanmar food. I like to eat street food and food from the market.  I think food is the bigger part of the economy. People don’t know how much food can influence every aspect of society such as economy, education, social and health. Food chain can really change the country. I think everybody have responsibility for growing country.


People Republic of China

I think most of us Young Global Leaders are all committed to changing the status of the world and improving. So we don’t want it just be a tour. To discuss food is much safer than talking about politics. Everybody loves food. It is the way to celebrate the culture, health, and the diversity to unite people in Myanmar though food. My mother owns a Vietnamese Chinese restaurant. Sometimes Thai food is very spicy. India food sometimes is too spicy or has too much milk that it makes me feel sleepy. In Myan-mar food I think the salad is very refreshing, tomato  salad here at Monsoon or pickled tea leaves salad of which I have never seen anyth-ing like it anywhere in the world. Crispy beans with pickled tea leaves together is unique. Right now Shanghai in China has a rich fast-growing market with 22 million people and a lot of tourists. So I hope that somebody come and create a Myanmar restaurant there.


Daw Phyu Phyu Tin

Monsoon Restaurant

Food Vision of Myanmar is different than other countries. Developed countries with their fast food like Mc donald, KFC are getting them-selves introduced to slow food, Healthy food which are not ready made. We still have rows of stalls in the markets, and home-raised  poultry and homegrown vegetables also. We are an right path, and how to preserve it is the question. We’d like to have canteens and school gardens established at  schools which would provide healthy food to schoolchildren.  Such awareness are worth promoting. We restaurateurs would like to contribute to food vision for Myanmar. Results coming out of this meeting an healthy food for children will be submitted to WEF.

Anjhula Mya Singh Bais

International Trauma,

Ph.D Candidate

This is such a wonderful opportunity for the world to see Myanmar and for Myanmar to host such an event, because everybody’s learning and growing together. WEF brings some of the world’s brightest and the best people from variety of fields from all over the world. They can do amazing things in different sectors: agriculture, telecoms, infrastructure. But the most important thing for the people in WEF is that they are not here to make only money but also to give back and to do things correctly. It’s really important that while you are on momentum, keep going. I can’t wait to se in the next  10 years Myanmar will be shining.


Melisande Middleton

Co-Founder and Director

Center of International Media Ethics

It’s very interesting to see Myanmar entrepreneurs. I’ve met some young Myanmar Leaders who are aspiring to public leadership and some are entrepreneurs. The energy they have is amazing. They are seizing opportunities really, really quickly.

This is my first time in Myanmar. We realized that there’s a huge potential come from the people. The political collapse which obviously shaping the country is well and determining its future. For Myanmar, the strength is its people. The infrastructure now in the process will have to be tailored to Myanmar growth. There’s a lot of  investment in the infrastructure and  maybe not enough investment in the initiative setup coming from the population.


Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Print Edition

Connect with us


Today Exchange Rate