YBLI Summit – Thailand 2023

The Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono is offering up to 10 places for New Zealand alumni and 60 places for ASEAN alumni of the Young Business Leaders Initiative (YBLI) programme to attend the 2023 YBLI Summit in Thailand from 24 to 28 May 2023.

This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs who have previously participated in the programme to reconnect after limited in-person meetings over the past three years.  We also welcome applications from entrepreneurs who may not have previously participated in the initiative. 

The event will provide a platform for entrepreneurs to focus on reigniting conversations, rebuilding connections, and planning a pathway forward to forge closer ties between New Zealand and Asian entrepreneurs.

This is an opportunity not only to connect with the best entrepreneurs in Asia, but to also learn about the wider business scene and culture of Thailand, and to walk away with insights for expanding your businesses internationally.

What the summit will offer: 

  • Three days of networking with 60 of Southeast Asia’s most influential entrepreneurs 
  • Some of Thailand’s and Southeast Asia’s most impressive business leaders as keynote speakers 
    Industry-sector breakout sessions  
  • A chance to forge connections with New Zealand and other ASEAN nations   

Applications have now closed for this opportunity

Key dates

  • Applications closed 31 January 2023.  
  • Applicants will be notified of the outcome within four weeks.
  • The full programme will be shared in early 2023, and will include panel sessions, team building events and cultural capability workshops.
  • Participants will fly into Bangkok on Wednesday 24 May, 2023.
  • Participants will depart Bangkok on Sunday May 28, 2023.

Please note that participants will be expected to attend all sessions of the summit.


All costs associated with attending, including return economy flights, meals, planned activities and accommodation, will be met by the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Those selected and based in Thailand will have their domestic travel costs covered. 

Participants will be responsible for getting to and from their local airport, any visa requirements, insurance, and any personal spending they may wish to undertake on the trip.

Selection criteria

Up to 10 places are available for YBLIs based in New Zealand, and up to 60 places are available for those based in Asia.  

As places and funding for the YBLI Summit are limited, a selection process will take place, with applications assessed by a panel. Preference will be given to those who: 

  • an demonstrate a genuine interest in furthering New Zealand-Asia relations 
  • have business interest and/or engagement already between Asia and New Zealand 
  • are connected and engaged with the Asia New Zealand Foundation. 

If you have any questions please contact director business Nick Siu: [email protected]  

Please note the Asia New Zealand Foundation office will be closed from 23 December 2022 to 4 January 2023.  

How to apply

Applications have closed for this opportunity

About the Young Business Leaders Initiative

Since 2011, the Young Business Leaders Initiative has created strong and enduring links between entrepreneurs in New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation delivers the programme for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which renewed the contract in 2021.   

The initiative enables entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia to visit New Zealand on sector-specific programmes and takes New Zealand entrepreneurs and business leaders to the region to build networks and learn about the business environment.

Between 2011 and 2019, 161 entrepreneurs from Asia and New Zealand participated in visits that explored sectors such as F&B, technology, social enterprise, fashion and tourism.   

An independent review in 2020 found the programme was helping to “forge enduring, two-way trade and business relations between young business leaders and business communities in ASEAN and New Zealand”.