Private Sector Partnerships for Inclusive and Sustainable South-South Cooperation

Co-organised by The Asia Foundation, UN Office for South-South Cooperation (Asia-Pacific) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Co-sponsored by the Royal Thai Government and the Government of Singapore.



The Second High-Level UN Conference for South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March 2019. A critical shift is the increasing recognition that achieving sustainable development requires multi-stakeholder partnerships for success.

As Asia-Pacific South-South cooperation expands in scale and scope, the private-sector has assumed a larger role, with significant impacts in addressing global regional, national and community development challenges. The GSSD Expo 2018 provides an opportunity to deepen understanding and expansion of the potential of these partnerships.


Objectives and Thematic Focus

Asian private-sector companies and corporations have played a significant role in Asian-led economic cooperation for decades. Public-private partnerships, often facilitated by Asian states, have supported partner countries in developing infrastructure and extracting resources.

Alongside the massive infrastructure investments, Asian-born companies have altered traditional ways of doing business, bringing new technologies and innovation to markets, and creating additional jobs and opportunities that have brought millions out of poverty.

The role of the private sector in Asian-led South-South cooperation has evolved. As Asian companies become part of the “development cooperation” equation with partner countries, they increasingly look for ways to improve the social impact of their investments. Business is no longer seen as peripheral to discussions on how to reduce poverty and create positive community impact. Rather, Asian companies have expanded their exploration of responsible investment, corporate social responsibility activities, and shared-value strategies through their foreign direct investment (FDI) and South-South cooperation. Shared-value strategies have both social and business value, advancing economic competitiveness while at the same time addressing social and development challenges.

Thematic Solution Forum 8 presents and analyses cases that reveal how the Asia-Pacific private sector is addressing sustainable development in the region, forging innovative partnerships and restyling the form and practice of Asian development cooperation as these partnerships evolve.


Format and Scope of Discussion

The 80-minute session will start with brief opening session led by high-level representatives from the Royal Thai Government, the Government of Singapore as Co-Sponsors, UNOSSC and UNDESA. The open debate will be Davos-style and private sector-led featuring panellists from Asia’s private sector and a UN representative. The discussion will be moderated by the Asia Foundation.



13.30 – 13.40: High-Level Opening Session

  • Mr. Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the Secretary-General for South-South Cooperation and Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation
  • H.E. Mr. Vitavas Srivihok, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations
  • H.E. Mr Burhan Gafoor, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations
  • Mr. Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) (VDO Presence)

13.40 – 14.30: Open-debate by the Panel

  • Moderator: Anthea Mulakala, Director for International Development Cooperation, The Asia Foundation.
  • Mr. Cholanat Yanaranop, Executive Vice President, Siam Cement Group (SCG), Chairman, SCG Sustainable Development Committee, President, Chemicals Business, SCG
  • Ms. Hee Kyung Min, Executive Vice President, CJ Group, Republic of Korea
  • Ms. Linda Yang, Executive Chairperson of Yingke Global Board of Directors, Global Partner, Yingke Law Firm, China
  • Ms. Shanaaz Preena, Group Director on Women Advocacy, Mas Holdings, Sri Lanka
  • Mr. Roland Mollerus, Chief, Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy, UNDESA

14.30 – 14.45: Questions and Answers

14.45 – 14.50: Wrap-up and Closing



Speakers in the High-Level Opening


H.E. Mr. Vitavas Srivihok

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Srivihok has served as the Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations since May 2018. He was the Deputy Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand from 2015 to 2018. Before that, he was the Ambassador of Thailand to the Czech Republic (2012-2015) and to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (2010-2012). Prior to such Ambassadorship, he was the Director General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, (2007-2010) and Ambassador Attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2004-2007). H.E. Ambassador Srivihok holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in International Relations from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and University of Mississippi in the United States respectively.


H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Gafoor has served as the Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations since August 2016. Prior to this, he was the High Commissioner of Singapore to Australia (2014-2016). He also served as the Ambassador and Chief Negotiator of Singapore for Climate Change negotiations (2010-2014). Before that, he was Ambassador of Singapore to France and Portugal (2007-2010) and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations in Geneva (2004-2007). A career diplomat since 1988, Mr. Gafoor has held several positions, including the Press Secretary to former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (2002-2004). Mr. Gafoor holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the National University of Singapore and Master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the École Nationale d’Administration in Paris.


Mr. Jorge Chediek

Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation and Director, United Nations office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)

Since October 2015, Mr. Jorge Chediek has been the Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, leading United Nations system-wide promotion and coordination of South-South cooperation for development. In March 2016, Mr. Chediek was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as his Envoy on South-South Cooperation. Prior to this, Mr. Chediek served as the UN Resident Coordinator/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Brazil (2010-2015). In that capacity, he was also the Director of the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, UNDP’s global forum for policy dialogue and South-South learning on social development innovations. He served as Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Peru (2005-2010); United Nations Resident Coordinator/ UNDP Resident Representative in Nicaragua (2001-2005); Preceding his United Nations career, Mr. Chediek worked at the Department of Legislative Analysis of the Argentinean Congress and as an independent consultant assisting in the design of financial investment systems in Argentina.


Mr. Elliott Harris

Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

Mr. Harris is Assistant Secretary-General of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) with over 25 years of international experience in the fields of international economics and development policy analysis, coupled with knowledge of the United Nations system, multilateral and inter–agency coordination processes. He has extensive experience in the design of macroeconomic policies and its application as a central instrument for the reduction of poverty and for resilient and sustained economic development. His work in the field of economics also focuses on the macroeconomic linkages with global social and environmental policies. Prior to his appointment to UNDESA, Mr. Harris served as Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 2015. Mr. Harris began his career in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1988, where he worked in the African Department and the Fiscal Affairs Department.

Mr. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in German and political science and an advanced degree in economics. He was awarded an Advanced Studies Certificate in international economics and policy research from the Institute of World Economics in Kiel, Germany.




Ms. Anthea Mulakala

Director for International Development Cooperation, The Asia Foundation

As the Director for International Development Cooperation at The Asia Foundation, Ms. Mulakala leads the Foundation’s work on Asian Approaches to Development Cooperation. which focuses on how Asian countries are influencing the global development and aid landscape. She served as Country Representative in Malaysia from 2007 to 2014, concurrently leading the Foundation’s engagement on development effectiveness and aid policy as the Senior Advisor, International Development Cooperation. She has been overseeing programs in Asia since 1991. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Mulakala worked for the World Bank in support of Indonesian decentralization, for South Asia Partnership, strengthening NGO capacity in Sri Lanka, and advising on gender-based issues to their offices across South Asia, and for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) as team leader of Government of Bangladesh and multi-donor health project consortium, and subsequently as DFID’s Reconciliation and Development advisor in Sri Lanka. She holds a Master Degree in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Canada.




Mr. Cholanat Yanaranop

Executive Vice President, Siam Cement Group (SCG), Chairman, SCG Sustainable Development Committee, President, Chemicals Business, SCG

Mr. Yanaranop is Executive Vice President of the Siam Cement PCL (SCG) and President of SCG Chemicals, with over thirty-year of experiences. He also serves as Chairman the Group’s Sustainable Development Committee.

Since 1913, SCG, a leading Thai business conglomerate with large-scale investment across Southeast Asia (ASEAN), has been committed to contributing to the sustainable progress of the communities where SCG operates. It also pledges to become ASEAN’s business leader and a role model in corporate governance and sustainable development. To this end, SCG has supported various agencies and organisations, including the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In its global commitment to nurture sustainability, the Group has applied the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and maintained the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for 14 consecutive years. Under Mr. Yanaranop’s leadership, SCG has driven innovation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), geared the Public-Private Partnership with governments in the Global South and promoted to the circular economy principles. Mr. Yanaranop holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London and Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard Business School, USA.


Ms. Hee Kyung Min

Executive Vice President, CJ Group, Republic of Korea

Heekyung (Jo) Min is the Executive Vice President and Executive Director of Creating Shared Value (CSV) Management of the CJ Corporation in the Republic of Korea.

Her role as a business leader and social innovator is to create a sustainable future for the CJ Group by driving and coordinating CSV and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts. Her commitment to promoting shared value was advanced through her experiences in both government and private companies with extensive engagement in Human Resource, Finance and Intercultural Management. As the Director General of the Business Opportunity Bureau at the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) in Incheon, Korea, she was responsible for raising Korea’s visibility to the global society. Ms. Min had vast experiences in the global financial sector from Tokyo, London to New York, including the Bank of New York, Apogee Finance Group, UFJ Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Prudential Investment and Securities as well as Deloitte & Touche. Ms. Min holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Columbia University. She speaks and writes extensively in Korea and internationally on large corporations’ social responsibilities.


Ms. Linda Yang

Executive Chairperson of Yingke Global Board of Directors, Global Partner, Yingke Law Firm, China

Ms. Yang is the Executive Chairperson of Yingke Global Board of Directors and responsible for overseas expansion, international cooperation and international legal affairs of Yingke law firm. With extensive experience in cross-border transactions and international arbitration, she has been involved in numerous cross-border transactions and serving for reputable Chinese and international companies and organizations on their legal issues, which includes Rockefeller, Adama, Mallanox, HSBC, CRRC, Zoomlion and CMEC. With outstanding achievement in practicing international business and commercial law, Ms. Yang was awarded the “Chinese Top International Business Lawyer” among the “Annual Ten Best Lawyers” by Fang Yuan Lv Zheng (a Chinese legal magazine) in 2011. She serves as the Executive Director of the China International Chamber of Commerce and she is also the Former Joint Tutor for LLM of Tsinghua University Law School. Ms. Yang hold a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature and International Trade from Ocean University of China, and Master degree in International Law from China University of Political Science and Law.


Ms. Shanaaz Preena

Group Director on Women Advocacy, Mas Holdings, Sri Lanka

Ms. Preena is the Director of Women-Go-Beyond and Women’s Advocacy at the MAS Holdings Group, where she is championing empowerment of women in the Local, Regional and Global Apparel Industry. MAS Holdings is Global Corporation providing Design-to-Delivery solutions in the apparel and manufacturing industry with 53 manufacturing plants across 16 countries. Led by Ms. Preena, Women go Beyond has been an iconic programme focusing on empowerment of women that has won numerous awards and recognition internationally.
With a true passion for people and over 35 years of diverse experience in the Academia, Airline and Apparel Sectors, Shanaaz has a proven track record in development and women advocacy. Among others, she was awarded “the Women Leadership Achievement Award” at the World Women Leadership Congress in 2014. She graduated from University of Colombo, Concordia University, Canada and received her executive education at McGill University, Montreal and the National University of Singapore.


Mr. Roland Mollerus

Chief, Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy, UNDESA

Mr. Mollerus, Chief, Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy, joined the United Nations in 1991. Throughout his professional career, he has held positions in UNCTAD, UNDP, UNDESA and the private sector in areas of sustainable development, development policy analysis, trade, finance and information technology.

Mr. Mollerus has provided substantive services for intergovernmental processes and capacity development activities, particularly in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). He has contributed to several reports by the Secretary-General on a wide range of development issues and has worked on various flagship publications such as the World Economic and Social Situation and the Least Developed Countries Report. Recently, he played a key role in the development of an electronic export alert notification system under a tri-partite collaboration with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and International Trade Centre (ITC) and has been in charge of the overall coordination and policy analysis agenda of the Committee for Development Policy. Roland Mollerus holds an M.A. from the University of Amsterdam with a specialisation in international political economy.