Tan Sri Rafidah.jpg

Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz – Chairman and Director Air Asia X

Topic – Business Perspective on embracing the ASEAN region

Tan Sri Rafidah is one of South East Asia's most dynamic and respected people. She is Malaysia's longest serving Minister of International Trade and Industry, having been in the position for 21 years from 1987-2008. She was also Deputy Minister of Finance from 1977 to 1980, and promoted to Minister of Public Enterprises in 1980 and served in the Portfolio until 1987. Much admired by her peers and colleague, she is regarded as an authority on global trade.

During her tenure as the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Rafidah Aziz contributed significantly to the development of Malaysia's economy. With her sound knowledge of economic matters, she worked tirelessly to position and to promote Malaysia as the most favoured destination for foreign direct investment.

Under her leadership, many multi-national corporations such as Intel, Western Digital, Panasonic, Samsung set up manufacturing, research and development facilities in Malaysia. Malaysia is now the 20th largest trading nation in the world and the largest exporter of semi-conductors.

Through her concerted efforts and passion in promoting Malaysia's trade, many businesses have emerged from small medium enterprises to become large corporations with offices around the world. Her expertise, visionary outlook and confidence have been a source of inspiration to many entrepreneurs and Malaysians.

Rafidah Aziz continues to have her finger on the pulse on international trade and investments as patron of the Malaysia-Europe Forum. She was appointed a Director and Chairman of the Air AsiaX Board,  in 2011 and in In May 2019, she was appointed to the National Economic Action Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister.


Alison Mann, NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Topic – The New Zealand relationship in ASEAN – the political and economic

Alison Mann is New Zealand’s Senior Official for ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, and the ASEAN Regional Forum, and leads the Asia Regional Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  She has a trade policy background, with extensive experience in the Australian and North Asian markets in particular.  She has been posted to Seoul, to Beijing and Canberra as Deputy Head of Mission, and to Brazil as New Zealand Ambassador.  She has also worked in the Australia, North Asia and Trade Negotiations Divisions in Wellington, led the Ministry’s Asia Pacific Regional Integration Division until April 2018, and also spent two years as the Ministry’s internal auditor.   As a trade negotiator, she managed New Zealand’s bilateral negotiations on the WTO accessions of China and Chinese Taipei, and led bilateral FTA negotiations with Korea as New Zealand Lead Negotiator.  She has also led New Zealand’s engagement with APEC as Senior Official and is currently New Zealand’s representative on its APEC Vision Group. 


Stephanie Honey, NZ ABAC Representative

Topic – Unlocking the potential for SMEs in ASEAN and the broader Asia-Pacific  

 Stephanie Honey is Associate Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum, serves as policy advisor to the New Zealand members of the APEC Business Advisory Council and runs an independent trade policy consultancy working with government and business clients.  She is also co-founder of a business offering executive education in trade policy.  Stephanie’s interests include regional economic integration especially in the Asia-Pacific, the WTO, agriculture and food trade, services trade, the digital economy, SMEs and women in trade; she has travelled and worked widely in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and more broadly.  

Prior to becoming a consultant, Stephanie worked for many years as a trade negotiator for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including serving as the New Zealand Agriculture Negotiator in the WTO Doha Round in Geneva, at the New Zealand Mission to the EU in Brussels working on trade issues, as the senior New Zealand official responsible for the bilateral relationship with Australia and in a variety of other roles.

Euan bio picture.jpg

Euan Howden, Director of Student Acquisition at Education New Zealand

Panelist - Panel Session 1, Digital connectivity; harnessing digital technology to bring 10 markets closer

Euan is a change agent inside Education New Zealand who pushed for a complete digital transformation, shifting from a promotions-based agency to a strategic data-driven marketing business. When Education New Zealand wanted to develop a program to drive international students to the institution, they used the power of Marketo to build a personalized digital experience. Education New Zealand drove 110,000 leads in just six months and delivered more than NZ$60 million in student value to the New Zealand economy at the cost of just NZ$4.01 million.

In his role as Director of Marketing Platforms and Campaigns at Education New Zealand (ENZ), Euan has been a powerful advocate for ENZ’s digital transformation, shifting the government agency from promotional activity to a strategic business focused on data-driven marketing.

In February 2019, ENZ won big against New Zealand’s top corporates at the New Zealand Direct Marketing Awards, winning the Nexus Supreme, Grand Prix and Organisation of the Year awards – the first time an organisation won all three top awards in the event’s 33-year history.

Euan has over 15 years of experience in digital marketing and management roles, having worked both agency and client-side. Euan was also awarded the prestigious Marketo Global Fearless Marketer for 2019 and continues to look for new ways to help the New Zealand Education sector compete on the world stage.


Agnes Espineda, Managing Director of Tactics

Panelist - Panel Session 2, The tangible benefits of embracing diversity; war stories and how-to

Agnes is the Managing Director of Tactics, with over 25 years’ experience in delivering documentation and training services for public and private sector clients, Tactics has become one of the leading providers of performance support services in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines. She has worked across a variety of cultures and clients (both public and private) and has a multicultural staff.

WillyPham Photo[1].jpg
Natasha Hamilton-Hart.jpg

Susan Chen, GO-JECK

Topic – Cross Border Expansion at its Best

Susan is the Senior Vice President of Organisational Development and International People & Culture with the GoJek Group. GoJek is the first Indonesian technology unicorn and a one-stop consumer on-demand and payments platform that is changing lives through providing millions with opportunities for growth, financial inclusion and social mobility. Dr Chen works with teams and leaders to develop talent strategies and interventions that build capabilities for sustainable growth across GoJek and its expanding global footprints. 


Willy Pham, Co-Founder and CEO - Acquire (Biz-Eyes - Sqaure Group)

Topic – Digital marketing in ASEAN: Cross-border market entry through omni-channel approaches

BIZ-EYES is a key digital communications and PR agency in VietNam with a multinational client base of the likes of Coca Cola, Mercedes, Prudential.

Willy works with clients to develop their digital marketing strategies in Vietnam and across ASEAN. Willy will speak on; Digital marketing in ASEAN: Cross-border market entry through omni-channel approaches.


Natasha Hamilton-Hart, Auckland University

Topic – How can NZ firms deal with the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Southeast Asia

Natasha Hamilton-Hart is Professor in the Department of Management and International Business of the University of Auckland Business School and Director of the New Zealand Asia Institute at the University of Auckland. She has a BA (Hons) from the University of Otago and a PhD from Cornell University.

Natasha joined the University of Auckland in 2011, after teaching at the National University of Singapore for ten years and holding a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian National University. Natasha’s research interests lie in the areas of comparative and international political economy, particularly the political economy of monetary policy and financial regulation, business-government relations in Southeast Asia and the international relations of East Asia.

She is the author of Asian States, Asian Bankers: Central Banking in Southeast Asia and Hard Interests, Soft Illusions: Southeast Asia and American Power, both with Cornell University Press, as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals.


Wayne Wood, Digital Engineering Lead at Jacobs (NZ)

Panelist - Panel Session 1, Digital connectivity; harnessing digital technology to bring 10 markets closer

Wayne is Part of the Jacobs (NZ) team which have had a working presence in Asia for well over 30 years in some locations. Wayne has over 25 years’ experience in Digital Engineering (DE) within the Mining, Industrial and Power Industries. This experience has allowed him to be involved in large multidisciplinary projects which were completed utilising many different design teams, applications and workflows, all of which integrate into a single collaborative design environment (CDE). This CDE allows us to work remotely and stay connected with instant access to all design information generated on the projects around the globe.
Wayne was also involved in using remote Global Integrated Design offices (GID) to aid in the reduction of overall design costs for our clients. He has been directly involved in setting up some of these offices in Asia and the Pacific and up-skilling staff in these locations namely in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Wayne has lived and worked in these locations while setting up and running these teams. Wayne also Identified and hired staff to form cohesive teams to ensure continued success once he left each location.
Wayne is passionate about 3D Design capabilities and Digital Engineering.


Mahi Tangaere, Immigration Lawyer at Cottrell Law

Moderator – Panel Session 2, The tangible benefits of embracing diversity; war stories and how-to

Mahi Tangaere has worked in diverse roles including Foreshore and Seabed negotiations, and in the education and immigration sectors for over 15 years. She is currently a solicitor at Cottrell Law where she has worked since 2010.
Mahi’s variety of administrative roles has provided her with a unique insight into New Zealand’s regulatory frameworks and educational landscape.
Mahi has her own business - NZeducateme. The company provides placements services for people wishing to study in New Zealand and has developed bespoke courses to help migrants integrate and develop skill sets which are relevant in the New Zealand environment.
Mahi’s focus emphasises that the core value systems of Maori and most Asian countries are similar or complimentary. This enables the development of business relationships for long term mutual benefit.
Mahi is a member and current Convenor of the Wellington Immigration and Refugee Law Committee. She has been on the Executive Committee of the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council for the last three years and is their current Vietnam Chapter Chair. She is also a member of the New Zealand Association of Immigration Professionals.
Mahi is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and enjoys a game of hockey.


Mitchell Pham, Co-Founder Augen Software

Topic – Digital Advances across the Region, how can NZ benefit?

MITCHELL PHAM is a director of the Augen Software Group in New Zealand and Vietnam, and cofounder of the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub – a platform for NZ technology businesses to accelerate presence & engagement in South East Asia.

Mitchell is experienced in information management, software products & services, sales & marketing, international operations, strategy development, collaborative partnerships and business growth through innovation. Internationally, he is recognised in leadership as a World Class New Zealander by KEA, an Asia 21 Fellow by the Asia Society, and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

In public service, Mitchell serves as chair of the NZ Technology Industry Association (NZTech) and the NZ Financial Innovation & Technology Association (FinTechNZ), co-founder of the NZ Health IT Cluster (NZHIT) and the Global InsurTech Alliance (GITA), and advisor at the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Formerly, he was an advisor at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and board member of Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ).

In business community, Mitchell is a New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) Beachheads Advisor in technology business for South East Asia, cofounder and chair of the NZ ASEAN Business Alliance (ABA). He is also a member of the Ethnic People in Commerce (EPICNZ) network, the NZ Asian Leaders (NZAL) advisory board, and the NZ Superdiversity Council. Internationally, he is a member of the Strategic Alliance Vietnamese Ventures International (SAVVi) network and an executive of the global Vietnamese diaspora business network (BAOOV).


Wayne Mulligan, Chief Executive Officer of FOMANA Capital Ltd

Panelist - Panel Session 2, The tangible benefits of embracing diversity; war stories and how-to

Wayne is a founding partner and the Chief Executive of Fomana Capital Ltd and NZ Bio Forestry Limited. He holds a Master of Management from the University of Auckland, specialising in business modelling and systems thinking. 
Wayne has managed entrepreneurial start-ups, as well as public and private enterprises. Wayne is a shareholder and director on a number of bio-pharmacy, bio-chemistry and nutritional companies. Wayne is also involved in a number of Māori businesses. 
Wayne has attended the Stanford University Executive Bootcamp for Te Hono NZ agri-tech (2014); Te Hono, SAP and Stanford Design School intensive program in (2015); Te Hono USA Consumer Insights at Stanford University (2016); and has attended two Executive Queenstown Agribusiness Summits in 2013 and 2015 - these courses were taught by a Harvard University Professors.
Wayne’s technology and portfolio consists of:
• The founding chair of the Māori agribusiness group NUKU ki te PUKU™. This company is designing pre-diabetic plant based protein foods for Chinese. It has just completed a 100 person clinical trial in NZ and now launching clinical trials and sales in China and Singapore. 
• A director and investor in NZ Bio Forestry (bio-tech venture Taiwan/Singapore & NZ). This company focuses on converting biomass into bio-chemicals, bio-fuels and bio-packaging.
• A director on Anagenix (NZ) -a nutraceutical company developing gut health and respiratory nutritional solution based by clinical evidence. Currently undertaking 240 person clinical trials in Canada.
• A shareholder in HoneyLab – a company developing natural pharma solutions from NZ, using pharmacy grade kanuka bio-actives. This company has just completed cold sore trials in NZ on 1000 people it has had two articles published in the British Medical Journal. 

Wayne has been involved in numerous New Zealand business delegations and attended two signings of free trade missions (China and ASEAN).


Chris Chapman, Head of Export Credit, The Treasury

Topic – Financing your way into exporting; the options and obligations

Chris Chapman is the Head of New Zealand Export Credit (NZEC), an operational unit within the Treasury’s Capital Markets directorate. NZEC supports exporters through the provision of Government-backed trade credit insurance and financial guarantees that complement the private sector. Its products can cover repayment and performance risks which may enable firms to secure, fund and grow export sales. We do this by working closely with exporters, their banks and international buyers.


Parmindar Singh, Company Director, B & P Singh Sekhon Ltd

Parmindar is a proud fourth generation Waikato Dairy Farmer, Managing Director and Organisational Design Consultant. She is currently Managing Director for B&P Singh Sekhon Ltd, Committee Member for Rural Women NZ, Regional Leader for Māia NZ and Trustee for Woodlands Trust.  Parmindar also spent 18 months as an Associate Director with OSPRI. 

Parmindar’s work takes her from the milking shed to corporate offices around NZ.  In addition to hands-on farm work, dairy farm business and executive management, Parmindar has developed a career in education, organisational design, strategic thinking and planning, and leadership development. 

Parmindar’s diverse sector experience includes working in; Education, Commercial, Corporate, Local Government and Not for Profit industry sectors.  One of her first roles was a Lecturing role at Wintec, where she spent 9 years teaching in a number of subject disciplines.  The love of learning continued to grow and took Parmindar on a journey working with organisations to design, develop and lead organisational design strategies, to drive high performing and engaged organisational cultures. 

Parmindar offers a grass-roots understanding, supported by solid commercial business skills and strategic experience. She is committed to leading and influencing positive change to generate prosperity for future generations.

Parmindar is a member of India NZ Business Council, ASEAN NZ Business Council, NZAL, Super Diverse Women, IOD & Rural Women NZ. 


Nikora Ngaropo, Director and Founder, Nikora Ngaropo Motion & Design (NNMD)

Nikora descends from Te Rarawa, Tuhoe, Ngati Porou, Nga Puhi and Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairoa. Nikora has a blended family of 4 Children aged 26 – 4 years old and studied at Massey University majoring in Animation & Interactivity.

Nikora is a Maori business entrepreneur and CEO and Founder of NNMD | YA a Maori led, Design & Animation tech company. Its aspiration is to enable Maori capability and capacity through education and technological enablement. With 18+ years of experience as a Technical Director for Weta Digital Nikora brings a wealth of experience through digital content creation and technical implementation. He is passionate about creating systemic change in Aotearoa through education, technology, business and culture.

Recognised in 2018 for their education initiative Young Animators (YA) as a finalist in the NZ Hi-tech Awards for 2018. Young Animators is one of 12 providers designing, developing and implementing Kia Takatu a Matihiko - The Digital Readiness programme across 44,000 teachers for the Ministry of Education. 

Nikora has recently had the following appointments He is on MBIE's Risk & Audit Committee, one of their core boards overseeing major government investments into developing, advancing and growing Aotearoa.

He is a member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation's Young Business Leaders Initiative (YBLI) and network and recently been accepted into the Asia Society's Asia 21 Young Leaders Forum as a representative from New Zealand - the first and only Maori in this highly connected Asia-Pacific wide network of dynamic leaders.


Felix Seitz: Principal – International Business Development

 Felix recently celebrated 20 years with Beca, based in Auckland. Felix has worked in over 80 countries ranging from just a few days to several years in the country; he is well experienced to work with a diverse team of any believe or culture. He is a ‘Giwi’ – of German descent and is now a NZ citizen. His project experience has covered process technology, packaging, capacity studies, strategic studies, feasibility studies, energy audits, procurement strategies, CAPEX preparation and master plan developments, as well as Greenfield projects. He has performed as a team leader in many of these projects, interfacing with a variety associated disciplines. He is widely experienced in all aspects of Process Improvements, Project Management and Project Integration. Felix is particularly known for “walking in the client’s shoes” and his build up and maintained client relationships outside of NZ for about 2 decades leading to repeat business.

Felix has also spearheaded the agreements of various Continued Services Agreements within the Food & Beverage industry for a range of multinational clients for Beca.


Tiina Hall-Turner: Technical Director – Project Management

 Tiina has been with Beca for 15 years and has primarily worked in the Food & Beverage and Water and Waste Water industries. She has demonstrated significant ability to lead multidisciplinary design teams in the delivery of major capital projects working with teams from NZ, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand. Tiina understands the stringent and demanding requirements of keeping a plant operational while expanding its operations. She strongly supports H&S considerations throughout the whole life cycle of a project. She has received commendations for her successful delivery of a wide range of projects throughout her career. Tiina is well respected for her applied knowledge, project governance and for empowering her team.

Currently she is the Job Director for the Green Spot Line 3 project and is responsible for the diverse Beca team delivering this project.


Forum Moderator


Ziena Jalil, Consulting Partner at Senate SHJ

  • 17+ years designing award-winning marketing, communications, stakeholder engagement and business development strategies with New Zealand’s leading businesses, growing reputation and revenues

  • 10+ years’ international relations experience, including 6+ years’ experience as a New Zealand diplomat in the roles of Regional Director (South & South East Asia) and Trade Commissioner (Singapore); key advisor to Ministers, high-level stakeholder engagement with senior officials, business executives, media and NZ Inc relationships

  • Extensive experience advising Chief Executives, Board Chairs and Directors

  • Established track record managing reputation issues and successful risk mitigation

  • Excellent skills and experience in building/leading high performing teams across borders

  • 15+ years’ operational management experience

    Key awards/Recognition include:

  • New Zealand Women of Influence Awards – finalist in the global category

  • Public Affairs Asia Gold Standard in Country/Trade Promotion (won twice)

  • PR Week Asia Pacific Silver Award for Public Affairs Campaign of the Year

  • PR Week Asia Pacific Bronze Award for Public Sector Campaign of the Year

  • Asia Pacific PR Awards Certificate of Excellence

  • Public Relations Institute of New Zealand Young Practitioner of the Year

  • New Zealand Media Peace Awards – Highly Commended

  • Public Relations Institute of New Zealand - President’s Award

  • Radio New Zealand Scholarship for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism