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PUNE: Asia Economic Dialogue 2024, the annual geoeconomics conference organised jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Pune International Centre (PIC), will be held in Pune from Thursday, February 29, to Saturday, March 2, 2024 stated a press release.

Focused on the theme, ‘Geo-economic Challenges in an Era of Flux’, AED 2024 will feature 46 speakers from 11 countries who will participate in 12 sessions over three days.

This international conference promises insightful discussions on pressing economic matters facing Asia and the world at large. Participation in this conference is by invitation only.

The inaugural session at 4:00 pm on 29th February will begin with a warm welcome by the eminent scientist Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, FRS, President PIC.

The inaugural session on the theme ‘Promoting Economic Integration in South Asia’ will be chaired by Amb. Gautam Bambawale, Convenor, AED 2024, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan and former Ambassador to China and Bhutan. Panellists in this session include Amb. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Foreign Secretary, Government of India, along with Amb. Sewa Lamsal, Foreign Secretary, Nepal, and Amb. Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary, Bangladesh.

The other highlight of this session is a one-hour Fireside Chat with Anniken Huitfeldt, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Norway, hosted by Amb. (Retd) Latha Reddy, former Deputy National Security Advisor of India and former Ambassador of India to Portugal and Thailand, on the theme ‘Women and Geo-Economics’.

The conference will feature 12 sessions over 3 days. These sessions will include ‘Women and Geo-economics’; ‘Generative AI: Impact on Organisations and Society’; ‘India’s Role in Information Technology and Digital Diplomacy’; ‘The Third Globalisation’; ‘The Future Automobile and Future Fuels’; ‘Drones: Revolutionising the Future?’; ‘India-Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC): A New Spice Route?’; ‘Reimagining and Revitalising the World Trade Organization’; ‘Critical and Emerging Technologies (CET): Securing our
Future’; and ‘Expanding Regional Connectivity: Towards a More Integrated South Asia’.

The session on ‘Generative AI: Impact on Organisations and Society’ will be chaired by
Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Executive Chairman and Founder, 5F World. The Panellists include, Rajesh Nambiar, Executive Vice President, Chairman and Managing Director, Cognizant
India; Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft India and South Asia; Nitin Chugh, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Digital Banking and Transformation; and Jeff Walters, Managing Director and Senior Partner, The Boston Consulting Group.

The session on ‘India’s Role in Information Technology and Digital Diplomacy’ will be a conversation between Kiran Karnik, Chairman, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology and Dinanath Kholkar, Independent Advisor and Former Senior Vice President and Global Head of Partner Ecosystems and Alliances of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

The session on ‘The Third Globalisation’ will be chaired by Prof. Jyoti Chandiramani,
Director, Symbiosis School of Economics, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Symbiosis International University; and the Panellists will be Anniken Huitfeldt, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Norway; Rahul Bajoria, Chief Economist, Asia Pacific, Barclays Bank; Dr. Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh and Non-resident Fellow at Atlantic Council; along with Prof. LarsHendrik Röller, The European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, and former Chief economic advisor to German Federal Chancellor Merkel, and former G7 and G20 Sherpa.

The Panellists for the session on ‘The Future Automobile and Future Fuels’ include
Ramkripa Ananthan, Head of Design of Ola Electric; CV Raman, Chief Technology Officer, Suzuki India; and Yogesh Umbarkar, Vice President, Business Development, Valtech Mobility. The chair of this session will be Amit Paranjape, Co-founder of ReliScore.

The session on ‘Drones: Revolutionising the Future?’ will be chaired by Anish Michael, Lead, Centre for Future Mobility, OMI Foundation. The panellists for the session are Mark Yong, Co-founder and CEO of Garuda Robotics; Aniruddh Gupte, Founder and CEO of Podrones Logistics; and Ankit Mehta, Co-founder and CEO of idea Forge.

The chairperson for the session on ‘India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC): A New Spice Route?’ will be Dr. Ajit Ranade, Vice Chancellor of Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. The panellists for the session will be Anita Prakash, Senior Policy Advisor for International Economic Cooperation, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia; Periasamy Kumaran, Special Secretary (ER & DPA), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; and Dr. Alvite Ningthoujam, Assistant Professor at Symbiosis School of International Studies, Symbiosis International University.

The session on ‘Reimagining and Revitalising the World Trade Organization’ will be chaired by Dr. Mohan Kumar, Professor of Diplomatic Practice at the Jindal School of International Affairs, OP Jindal Global University. The panellists will be Dr. Asle Toje, Deputy Leader, Norwegian Nobel Committee, alongside Amb. B Navnit, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the WTO, and Dr. Asanka Wijesinghe, Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies in Sri Lanka.

The session on ‘Critical and Emerging Technologies (CET): Securing our Future’ is organised in collaboration with Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a policy think tank. Dr. Sameer Patil, Senior Fellow, Centre for Security, Strategy and Technology and Deputy Director, ORF Mumbai, will be the chairperson for the session. The panellists will be Rachel Rizzo, Senior Fellow, Europe Center, Atlantic Council; Kurihara Toshihiko, New Delhi Representative from Japan Bank for International Cooperation; Ashok Malik, Chair of The Asia Group, India; and Shweta Rao Buntwal, Director, National Security Council Secretariat.

The session on ‘Expanding Regional Connectivity: Towards a More Integrated South Asia’ will be chaired by Amb. Sudhir Devare, former Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, and former Ambassador to South Korea, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Indonesia. The panellists will be Prof. Prabir De, Centre for Maritime Economy and Connectivity, Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries, alongside Dr. Atiur Rahman, Emeritus Professor, Dhaka University and Former Governor, Bangladesh Bank; Tenzing Lamsang, Editor, The Bhutanese; and Dr. Nishchal Nath Pandey, Director, Centre for South Asian Studies, Nepal.

The conference will be a dynamic platform for exploring and expanding on the most pressing matters of today’s world, bringing together diverse perspectives to drive positive change.

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