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  -  Business   -  Bringing ASEAN to New Zealand | May 2024
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23 April 2024

The SEA CAPE ASEAN Fellows are here in New Zealand in celebration of the recent ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Upgrade, as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand also continue to be New Zealand’s top trading partners. The ASEAN Fellows will be involved in a programme of travelling across multiple cities in New Zealand – Auckland, Palmerston North, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington to share their knowledge and enhance the connectivity between ASEAN and New Zealand.

AUCKALND | 13 MAY 2024
HAWKE'S BAY | 15 MAY 2024

Lyn Sia RosmarinBoard Member, DECK Photography Art Centre Ltd.; Country Manager, PRIZM Group Singapore

Lyn Sia Rosmarin presently serves as a partner and Country Manager for Prizm Digital in Singapore.

Recognised by Female Weekly as a nominee for Great Women of Our Time 2020 in the Design and Style category, she has successfully established the KBLU Swimwear lifestyle brand. Additionally, she is the creator of Sustainably Pistachio, a blog highlighting incremental steps towards sustainability. Renowned as a panel speaker for SME events, Lyn actively contributes to uplifting founders’ communities and engages in cross-border social marketing. Especially with the increase of Chinese tourists coming to the region and Chinese expat communities living in Singapore, she has been teaching Chinese marketing with Singapore Business Federation.

Currently, she holds positions on two non-profit boards. Prior to venturing into entrepreneurship, Lyn accumulated 12 years of experience in the field of investment banking.

Dr. Watcharas LeelawatHonorary Advisor, Bolliger & Company (Thailand) Ltd.

Dr. Watcharas Leelawath is the Honorary Advisor at Bolliger & Company (Thailand), a consulting firm on trade and development and digital economy, based in Bangkok.

He served Mekong Institute (MI) for six years as the Executive Director. He completed his second term there in August 2020. Prior to joining MI, he was the Deputy Executive Director of the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD), in charge of planning, supervising and conducting research projects, training programs, and various capacity building activities. Before coming back to Thailand, he worked as Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota, Morris, USA, where he taught International Economics and Mathematics for Economists.

He is a trade economist with a strong interest in trade and development cooperation issues under GMS and ASEAN frameworks. He has extensive research experience in the fields of Development Cooperation and Regional Economic Integration. He has written several papers for presentation in local and international conferences, has published several articles on trade-related topics, and has co-authored a book entitled “Economics and Trade in Goods: An Introduction.” He provided his expertise in a number of research and capacity building activities organised by ITC, ADB, UNESCAP, and WTO. During his time at MI, he has implemented several development projects related to cross-border trade and investment and agricultural value chains for Mekong countries. Dr. Leelawath received his undergraduate degree from Chulalongkorn University. He finished his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kansas, USA.

Senthil Balan – Chief Venture Officer, Gentari   

Senthil Balan is an experienced business executive with significant business experience in driving commercial growth across Asia Pacific. His work experience includes leadership roles within industry verticals of technology, renewable energy, aviation, and telecommunications, which are responsible for both developing strategies and monetising markets in the Asia Pacific. He is currently the Chief Venture Officer at Gentari Green Mobility – the renewable energy subsidiary of Petronas – which is Malaysia’s largest firm focussing on delivering net zero converged solutions (Hydrogen, Solar, Wind, Green Mobility) with ambitions to scale across Asia Pacific.

Prior to that, he had diverse experiences in working within disruptive business models both within global Silicon Valley and regional Asia Pacific firms. Such experiences have enabled him to successfully scale in ASEAN and the wider Asia Pacific as well as to provide valuable insights for New Zealand companies about different ways to scale and maximise opportunities (and challenges) in the region. His 24 years of work experience involves working across 8 industries targeting both B2C and B2B business segments, supporting different stages of business growth, and taking various leadership roles. He has supported firms across APAC including Uber and Grab – two of the world’s and ASEAN’s largest ride sharing/urban mobility platforms, Binance – the world’s largest Web 3.0 platform, and AirAsia – Asia Pacific’s largest low-cost airline. In those roles, he strategised and executed commercial activities and helped those firms to scale across both ASEAN and Asia Pacific.

With all those experiences, Senthil Balan has navigated almost all the markets in the Asia Pacific’s commercial and regulatory environments. He will be able to share his insights on market access dynamics and engagement strategies to New Zealand companies who hope to scale ASEAN.