Global Women's Trade Summit
IWFCI, Mongolia


Day 1

The Global Women's Trade Summit organised by IWFCI, Mongolia kick-started with the famous Opera and Ballet Theatre Chorus rendering the Mongolian national anthem. This was followed by a video and dance displaying the culture of Mongolia. The voice of the tenors and the beautiful video was enthralling and it set a good introductory vibe to the summit.
The opening ceremony was preceded by Mr. Tsogtbaatar Damdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia. Mr. Damdin in his address mentioned that women are the new drivers of economies and shared that new economies can only flourish if there is gender equality and many women become entrepreneurs. His speech rightly set the tone for the summit.
The three panel discussions held throughout the day were very enlightening. The key-note speaker of the first session, Mr. Philip Paul Fusco, DMI World, President (Australia), spoke on the topic ‘The Growth of a Nation’. In his address he shared the changes that he has seen in trade and industry over the years, the most important being of an increase in women participation in businesses and rising gender equality.
All the speakers through their talks changed our stereotype of Mongolia that of only being a nomadic country. They shared that the country has so much more to offer with high levels of literacy and employment, with women being more educated that men. This gender equality is seen in other fields as well. Many women hold top-posts and important offices in the government as well as private sector.
An interesting stance shared by one of the speakers in the morning session, Ms Ariunzaya Ayush, National Statistical Office, Chairperson (Mongolia) was that Mongolian women who are at home caring of their children and families are not counted as unemployed in government statistics. She further enumerated that caregiving is a far more challenging and important job in any society. This is something that all countries should learn from!
Another speaker that left an impression on the mind of the audience was Ms. Oyungerel Tsedevdamba, a well-known human rights activist and Former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Mongolia. She in her very inspirational discourse shared how she turned toilet construction into a business in Mongolia. Mongolian people perceive toilets as ‘taboo’ because of which they do not even like discussing about it. Through various focus-group discussions in the past year she along with her team was able to reduce this taboo. She further shared that as most men see the construction of toilets as a lowly job, she is currently experimenting on building light and easily built toilets that can be built, assembled and managed by women. At the end of her address she urged the audience to remember Mongolia for ‘Mongolian Women (for their work), Mongolian Talent and Mongolian Freedom’ i.e breaking of stereotypes and taboos. This was a very inspiring session.
The other speakers for the day shared information and the growth of their businesses and all their stories were very motivationg.
The evening ended with a formal four-course dinner accompanied with an exquisite showcase of Mongolian culture with traditional music, opera and acrobats. The highlight of the evening was two IWFCI members, Ms. Baigali Ochkhuu and Ms. Karen K. Kim playing the violin to a Bach composition. This provided a perfect and beautiful end to this eventful day.


Day 2

The second day commenced with the formal installation of the new Presidents and signing of IWFCI protocols for their respective countries. It was a proud moment for the Indian delegation to witness Dr. Daphne Pillai being presented a certificate by Diana Abruzzi, Founder and International Chair, IWFCI on being elected at the President of IWFCI, India. The certificate distribution ceremony was followed by signing of the IWFCI protocol for India by Dr. Daphne Pillai, President, IWFCI India.
After the ceremony, four panel discussions were held on topics like Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The Future of Finance, Creative Industry and Women in the Global Economy.
Ms. Karen Kim from Australia shared with the audience the growth process of her music school and how she proved her father wrong, who thought that she could only be a music teacher. Ms Jacqueline Plinkett, also from Australia, shared her knowledge on Intellectual Property Rights. She spoke in detail on the Do’s and Don’ts while sharing a new idea with people and starting a new business. Cherylee Francis, Founder of Native Women Entrepreneurs of Arizona, USA spoke on her story and experience of working with Native American entrepreneurs and how she through her skill of direction and cinematography has brought the issues of these people to the forefront.
Another splendid speaker was Hyun-Joo Kim who shared her work on animation. She is the Director of Studio Holhory Co. Ltd, Korea and she spoke to the audience about story- writing for animations and her inspirations.
Post the panel discussions, the ceremony for the official handover to the 2019 summit host country, Republic of Korea took place. IWFCI President of South Korea, Ms Sophie Kang made a video presentation on her vision for the next Global Summit. She also showed a sensational video on South Korea and it attractions, inviting everyone to attend the next Summit.
This grand summit ended with a grand Gala Dinner and Fashion Show put up by the top Mongolian brands and models.
With over 35 speakers and 300 delegates from 14 different countries around the world, this summit was a huge success. All the arrangements made, right from pick up from the airport to hotel suggestions, internal travel, food and entertainment were just remarkable. It is noteworthy to mention all the volunteers of this summit, who worked around the clock to make the stay of all the delegates comfortable and memorable. All in all it was a wonderful and great learning experience.
Yvette Lee
IWFCI, India