SDSU business students welcome Singapore Ambassador

Photo courtesy of Thania Herrera

Photo courtesy of Thania Herrera

by Raquel Herriott

The Ambassadorial Roundtable welcomed Singapore’s ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri to the U.S., in San Diego last Thursday.

World Diplomatic Forum & Ambassorial Roundtable President, CEO and founder and San Diego State College  of Business Administration lecturer Ina von Ber received a visit from Mirpuri, Consul General Christopher Cheang and First Secretary of Information Tania Koh at an honorary dinner reception in La Jolla. Other attendees included business leaders, government educators, volunteers, students and San Diego interns. The event, hosted by Voice of La Jolla’s CEO Ron Jones, started with a dance showcase by “A Chance to Dance” followed by a discussion on “Trade, Education, and Politics in Singapore” by Mirpuri.

“We have five stars which represent our values, very much like U.S. values: democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality,” Mirpuri said while holding up the Singaporean flag.

The ambassador’s discussion briefly summarized the history of Singapore and explained how the country’s relations with the rest of the world have impacted its economic success.

“We have opened up our economy from our openness to foreign investors and our relationship with people around the world,” he said.

Within his speech, the ambassador also mentioned trade relations, the country’s lack of natural resources, the development of infrastructure, its emphasis on education and many other topics.

[quote]We have opened up our economy from our openness to foreign investors and our relationship with people around the world.[/quote]

The ambassador foresees a promising future regarding trade agreements. He spoke of the Trans-Pacific Partnership within 12 different countries, including the U.S., which he hopes to have arranged by the end of the year. Mirpuri believes this partnership will help the U.S. reach out to different countries interested in American companies and enhance research opportunities. As for Singapore, it would become a “national regional hub.”

The event atmosphere was ideal for international business senior Michael Cash, he said.

“I want to find out different perspectives and what the ambassador of Singapore has to say,” Cash said.

The World Diplomatic Forum & Ambassadorial Roundtable hosts high-ranking government officials and diplomats as well as foreign and U.S. ambassadors every month.

“Our mission is to connect diplomacy with the private sector, financial sector, government and education,” von Ber said. “We want to bring the highest level diplomats in intimate atmospheres to have a collegial exchange of ideas.”

International business senior and Ambassadorial Roundtable intern Kassandra Gist said she had a positive experience working for the organization.

“I have had my eyes open to how many different international services there are in San Diego,” she said. “To be an international business major and be thrown in a room with businessmen from San Diego and international ambassadors is a really big opportunity.”