Strategic Adviser to Penang State Minister for Trade, Industry and Entrepreneur Development /Chairman, Malaysia-China-Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Technology and Innovation Alliance

Speaking Session

Short Biography

A global business and technology consultant who spent over 30 years abroad in the USA and Singapore, MR. STEPHEN LAI currently serves as Strategic Adviser to Penang State Minister for Trade, Industry and Entrepreneur Development in Malaysia and a business mentor to tech start-up CEO’s in Silicon Valley, Singapore and Penang.

An experienced multinational executive who used to manage direct offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Saigon and Mumbai , Stephen earned an MBA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and received double degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Stephen’s varied international career includes a stint with Shanghai DZH, one of China’s largest fintech solution providers listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Reuters Asia, Koeneman Capital Management – Asia’s first quant-based investment firm founded by former Head of Equities at Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Business Consultant to Singapore Government’s ICT R&D Centre (Kent Ridge Digital Lab), Founder of a few tech start-ups and Pioneer Producer of signature commodity and investment conferences in seven cities in Asia.

A former adviser to Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Exchange Centre (BCEC), Vietnam’s first commodity exchange, Stephen is Co-Founder of Malaysia IR 4.0 Consortium, Chairman of Malaysia-China Guangdong-Hong Kong -Macao Greater Bay Area Technology and Innovation Alliance and Founder-President of Penang-Chengdu Friendship Association.

During 2012-2014, he was tasked to promote internationalisation of China enterprises under the Belt and Road Initiative when he was appointed Executive Adviser to the President of China Chamber of International Commerce in Shenzhen, where he also served as Deputy Director of the China (Shenzhen) Financial Expo Planning Committee chaired by Shenzhen Mayor for 5 years.

Penang-born Mr. Stephen Lai is also CEO of SEED Penang, a social enterprise with a mission to promote social entrepreneurship and social enterprise development in Penang.