IBEAD Students Invade Malaysia and Singapore
The International Business Economics and Diplomacy (IBEAD) students took a trip to Malaysia and Singapore last February 6-10, 2014, for an international exposure activity aimed at developing their skills in the field of foreign relations and getting to know the different cultures across countries.
On its first day, the young economic diplomats visited the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where they were welcomed by His Excellency J. Eduardo Malaya, the Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia. The students were briefed by the following consuls: Ms. Maria Antonina Mendoza-Oblena, the First General and Consul; Ms. Johann Veronica M. Andal, the Third Secretary and Vice Consul under the Economics and Cultural Section; Mr. John Francis S. Herrera, the Third Secretary and Vice Consul, under the Assistance to Nationals and Consular Section; and last but not the least, Mr. Medardo G. Macaraig, the Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General. In the briefing, the young economic diplomats were able to acquire new knowledge about the bilateral relations between Malaysia and the Philippines, covering the economy, culture, labor and employment, trade, investment, among others. It interesting to learn that Malaysia’s post is one of the challenging and busiest foreign posts because of the issues concerning the Sabah claim, the number of undocumented Filipinos who live on that island, related political issues, the Bangsamoro in Mindanao, the working conditions of OFW’s, and the territorial disputes with China. The junior economic diplomats also got the chance to tour the small but busy Embassy in Malaysia.
On February 7-8, 2014, the students attended the SIBR-UniKL Conference on Interdisciplinary Business and Economics Research at The Royale Bintang Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The conference helped them broaden their knowledge in the field of Business Economics as well as across the fields of Organizational Behavior, International Trade and Finance, Business Ethics, Marketing and Consumer Behavior, and Psychology, among others. It was also a fun-filled experience for the young diplomats for they got be acquainted with Malay students who attended the conference which allowed them to know more about the Malaysian culture.
After the Malaysian experience, the students crossed the border and proceeded to Singapore starting with a short campus tour at the National University Singapore (NUS), including a visit at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat which is located at the NUS, followed by a visit at the Philippine Embassy in Singapore.
The group was warmly welcomed at the APEC Secretariat by Ms. Grace Cruz-Fabella, Program Director of the Human Resource Development Group; Mr. Alvaro Castro, Program Director of the Intellectual Property Rights Group; and Ms. Jennifer Juo, the Communications and Outreach Manager. The briefing included presentations about APEC and discussions of programs and issues where the students got to participate.
The last stop was a briefing at the Philippine Embassy in Singapore. They were welcomed by the consuls namely: Mrs. Peniaranda, Ms. Antoniette Villa, and the Director General Consul. As in the case of Malaysia, the briefing focused Singapore-Philippines bilateral relations, highlighted by the interest of Singapore in investing in the Philippines, particularly in real estate and manufacturing. The young diplomats were also advised to take the Foreign Service exam and the DTI exam if they desire to become foreign diplomats.
The IBEAD students’ five-day Malaysia-Singapore adventure has indeed given them the learning and competencies to enhance their capabilities as budding diplomats. It reinforced their interest and passion in the field of international business economics and diplomacy. The group was accompanied by Prof. Christian Anne De Lumen of the School of Business.