Asia Pacific Conference
It was 10th of May 2023, JCI Asia Pacific Conference (ASPAC) had already started, and I was still in Nepal because on 9th of May I had to attend the Shraddha of my father’s 2 years Death Anniversary. I could see the pictures of ASPAC in our WhatsApp group. My flight was at 9 PM on 10th of May and I was excited to board the flight. After transit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia I reached Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta at 8:30 AM, 11th May. I ordered a taxi which cost me 230,000 Indonesian Rupees, it was about 2,000 Nepalese Rupee. I was amazed by the money bill numbers which were only in thousands, I could see 100,000 notes too.
It was hot and humid outside the airport but mesmerized by the development of Jakarta. The infrastructure was on another level with wide roads, flyovers, and skyscrapers. I reached hotel Kimaya Silpi after more than an hour because of huge traffic. It took so much time just to cover 12 kms of road. I thought Kathmandu traffic was bad, but Jakarta traffic was on another level. I thought this is the reason it’s the country with the 4th highest population in the world with around 273.8 million and the biggest Muslim country with the highest population. I reached the hotel around 11 AM and after showering and suiting up I booked a taxi to reach Sultan Hotel & Residence which was the venue for ASPAC.
At the gate I met JCI Sen Bikash Manandhar, JC Jiban Karki, JC Khagendra Pandey and JC Raj Bishwokarma and took my ID card and took some photos. Since a lunch coupon was available, me and Jiban went to have lunch in Pacific Place Mall which was 1.2 kms away from the venue and a regular Shuttle bus would take us which was managed by the organizers. I came to know that Shuttle bus service was sponsored by JCI India which was commendable work. After reaching the mall, which was elegant and huge, we had to move up to the 7th floor where there were many restaurants offering lunch after giving the lunch coupons, we had to wait in a long queue for the table and after getting the table I met Peter from Malaysia who said there are friends from Taiwan, and would you like to join them? I said yes and joined the Taiwan team and we introduced ourselves. We had lunch together and talked about each other’s LOM chapters and places.
After lunch and some photo sessions, we returned to the venue. On the way in one of the halls there was an event called Business Matching. I entered the hall and there were many people exchanging business cards with each other and talking about their own business. I quickly got involved with everyone knowing about their business and promoting mine too. I felt the age of globalization came to this spot where business personnels from all over the world got together for a common goal. Most of the people were promoting their own products and clicking pictures and requesting for the feedback of the products.
After that I went to another hall where the event was “Creative Young Entrepreneur”. This was an event or a competition where different business ideas from all around the Asia Pacific were pitched and the best one was selected, and the winner would get the prize of $5000. This was the final round.
After all the formal program completion, there was a program of National Night like Korea Night, Mongolia Night, Hong Kong Night, Malaysia Night, Cambodia Night, and ADPC Night took place from 7 PM in Plaza Timur. These events were very unusual for me because I have never seen this kind of festival in my lifetime. First, we went to Korea Night. In this big stall there were many small stalls where they displayed their culture, food, games, and concerts. A famous K-Pop band was performing at the event. There was free food and liquor and after playing different games we got souvenirs. Tug of war between different countries was also organized which was very fun to watch, we Nepalese team were less in number so we couldn’t participate in the game. After that we went to Cambodia Night, Taiwan Night and so on. After completing a fully action-packed day, we traveled to our hotel and had a rest.
It was May 12th and since our National President had to attend Conference Assembly II at 10 AM so we had to wake up early and have our breakfast and they left early. We booked another taxi and reached the Assembly Hall. On the way JCI Mongolia was cheering for their bid to ASPAC 2025 so we joined them and cheered for Mongolia for a while. I had a chance to attend the assembly, the agendas were short and to the point, discussion was less entertaining and completed in less than an hour. In this course I could see the bidding process of JCI Cambodia which reminded me of JCI Kirtipur bidding Area C Conference 2024.
After that there was the JCI Japan Global Peace Summit where our National President was part of the summit where all the national presidents signed the Global Peace Declaration Signing Ceremony for global peace and prosperity.
We went for lunch in the same mall as yesterday but this time me and Raj had new Indian friends to accompany us. Most of the restaurants had beef in the menu so we went to search for a restaurant without beef and found one restaurant since Indians were very strict on their diet. We talked about culture and possible business in the future. They were very friendly and welcoming.
After coming back from lunch, we attended a session “Digital Export Enablement Programme Panel Introduction”. Here different businessmen who had their business in technology were invited. They talked about how digital business can thrive and what we need to take care about. Question and Answer session was followed by, and very good discussion took place. Here I got to have a conversation with Gopay CEO of Indonesia Mr Klemens and other Tech professionals of Indonesia.
In the meantime, I met with Shinichi San (President) and Manabu San from JCI Ibaraki who came for Japan Night. There was a program Amazing Japan where JCI Japan showed what is in the Japan Night and other Japanese culture to all.
After that we went to the hotel and changed comfortable clothes for the National Nights and this time there were Japan Night, India Night, Taiwan Night, and Philippines Night. After entering the gate, we saw a huge India Gate replica made by JCI India. There were many stalls of free food, liquor, games, and souvenirs. There was a big stage where Bollywood songs were performed, the Indian Ambassador was also present, and our National President was also called on the stage and all the presidents danced in Bollywood tunes. I asked fellow Indian friends who funded this event, and they said that the Indian Embassy had done all the arrangements. I wondered if JCI Nepal could work with the Embassy or Consulate of Nepal to get help from the government for this event where we can brand our country on an international level.
After that we went to Taiwan night where we had fun with our fellow Taiwanese friends. Philippines Night was another event, so we entered to enjoy Filipino culture. Lastly, we went to Japan Night which was a huge event. There were stalls of almost all the Local chapters of Japan and they had their own culture showdown along with food and games. Masato San from Ibaraki was also there and we had some talks and had food and drinks. Popular band JKT48 had a performance blast and there was a huge crowd just waiting to watch them perform. I was mesmerized to see the crowd singing all their songs. After completing the nights, we headed to our hotel and had a rest.
May 13 was the last day of the conference. This day was special because the Managing Director, Mr Malla of our hotel Kimaya came to meet us. He was a friendly person who had his roots in Nepal. He said that his great grandfather moved away from Nepal to India and from India their family came to Indonesia. I gifted him a Dhaka Topi and it really suited him and was very happy to talk about Royal Malla lineage and their history. After breakfast we reached the venue where all the members of team Nepal went for a city tour whereas I joined a training session “Leading a Multigenerational Workforce” by Esunge Ariunbold from Mongolia. He shared the generation gaps between different workforce and how to find a solution for this difference. I questioned him about not only generation gaps but also cultural differences where we work. For example, how to balance a western or European workforce and Nepalese or Asian workforce because they have completely different working culture and thinking. We had a very good discussion during this session.
After this I had lunch with our Taiwan friends again and had a great time and exchanged gifts along with that. After returning I attended “JCI Local Organization Empowerment Committee ” by Winnie Yeung from Singapore. She sorted us all according to our nature. Somewhere only focused on the result that was cool blue, some were focused on deadline they were fiery Red, somewhere slow workforce who were Earth Green, some focused-on Team and people which was a Sunshine Yellow group, I was kept in this group. We discussed what are the things that make us angry, how to solve major issues on clashes between teams etc. Winnie Yeung was a great trainer, and we could learn a lot.
I had a chance to attend Public Speaking and Debate competition finals as well. The participants were very energetic and passionate. The final event was the Closing and Award Distribution ceremony. A Jaycee from JCI Malaysia won “The First Timer Award.”
- Debating Champion was JCI Malaysia
- Public Speaking Champion was Sylvester Lim from JCI Malaysia
- Creative Young Entrepreneur 2nd Prize was Rico Tecyono from JCI Indonesia for Komunia Financial Technology winning free trip to JCI ASPAC next year
- Creative Young Entrepreneur 1st Prize winner was Nicholas Yap from JCI Malaysia with project Parkit winning free trip to JCI National Congress
- Best Local Business and Entrepreneurship Program, Winner Angat Buhay : Brgy Labangon Food Park Livelihood Program By JCI Cebu, Philippines
- Best JCI RISE Project, Winner “From Grass to Glass”, Buhay Kalabaw (Carabao Life) – Kabuhayang JCI Carabao Life, Philippines
- Best International Cooperation Project, Winner JCI Cebu, Philippines
- Best National Growth and Development Program, Winner JCI Mongolia Women Club
- Best Local Growth and Development Program, JCI Cebu Philippines : Ray of Hope, Rebuilding lives
- Best Local Community Impact Program, Waste to Green, JCI Johor Bahru Entrepreneur Malaysia
- Best Local Individual Development Program, Lonely Senior Citizens Shine Again JCI Kore, Japan
- Best Inter-Organization Collaboration Project, Green Future JCI Ian Kuren, Mongolia
- Best Local Global Goals Project, Comprehensive Child Development Program JCI Nagpur, India
- Most Outstanding Local Project, Winner “From Grass to Glass”, Buhay Kalabaw (Carabao Life) – Kabuhayang JCI Carabao Life, Philippines. Prize money $1000
- The most outstanding New Local Organization, JCI Surgai Pelari, JCI Malaysia
- The most outstanding Local Organization, JCI Kanazawa, Japan
- Most Outstanding Local President, Carol Wong, JCI Apex Hongkong
- Alexandra Dayrit ph, Baasanjav Enkhtur mon, Carol Wong JCI Apex Hong Kong
- Most Outstanding Member, Joyline Chai Nyuk Chuan, JCI Entrepreneur Morgorolm Malaysia
After the award distribution, there was a Gala dinner where everyone wore their national costumes. We were in our Daura Surwal and Dhaka Topi and most of the members from other countries came to click pictures and extend the fellowship and business. Due to the huge number of participants two enormous halls were used for this event where in our hall projection of the event from another hall was done in LED screen. There was a closing ceremony, dinner and party afterwards. After the event was finished, we headed back to the hotel and flew to Bali afterwards.
The Asia Pacific Conference 2023 was a very fruitful event, I had some impressions which will be listed below.
- I learned how such a huge international event is managed.
- How every program starts on time and ends on exact time.
- Instead of long recognition and Dias calls, they only focus on the actual content and Assembly and other events are short and sweet.
- Business exchanges between different countries were easily done.
- Every country had organized Nights where they showed their culture, food, music, events etc
- Among a total of 19 awards, more than 15 awards were given to LOM chapters so we need to be very active in reporting to the JCI. I was disappointed that Nepal did not win any of the awards which we need to work hard in near future.