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Diplomatic Council Singapore’s glamorous launch

26 April 2018

The Diplomatic Council (DC) is a unique organization with consultative status to the United Nations combining a global think tank, a world leading business network and a charitable foundation. We link diplomacy, business leaders, science’s leading minds and society’s front-runners on resolving mankind’s biggest challenges. Our members gain access to a global network of leaders from the highest levels of diplomacy, business and social change. We firmly believe that a thriving economy bringing prosperity to mankind is one of the best guarantors of peace.

Photo: Irene Ho

The Luxury Network member and partner Diplomatic Council (DC), celebrated a glamorous Opening of it‘s Singapore Mission organized by the newly appointed Head of Mission Ms Irene Ho and hosted by H.E. Dato’ Zulkifli Adnan, who is the Ambassador of Malaysia to Singapore and a Member of the Diplomatic Council´s Board of Presidents. The official opening took place at Ambassador Dato’ Zulkifli Adnan’s residence.

The Diplomatic Society (DS), media partner of DC, spoke to Ms Ho (IH) on the auspicious occasion of the launch of DC

DS: Who is Irene Ho and what attracted you to diplomacy?

IH: I was the previous elected President of the Singapore Business Council of Australia in 2012 and 2013 so diplomacy is not new to me.

Not that I enjoy reading comics but it is true that with great power comes great responsibility. I believe I have the skillsets, knowledge, personality and the right heart to lead an organization like DC in Singapore. I see it as a moral obligation that I must make a difference to the world if I can no matter how small and DC is the right platform that could potentially makes a huge difference if we use it correctly.

I have been contributing my time, money and network to benefit not for profit organisations and charities since I left the hectic World of Professional Services at Big Four Accounting Firms in 2009, I see my contribution at DC in Singapore as an extension to what I have already been doing but at a much greater and higher level.

My cause is for my country and for my people. I believe a small country like Singapore needs all the friends it can get. I want to build DC to be one of the key channels in Singapore to maintain a strong relationship with foreign diplomats especially those countries that are strategic for us to build a solid relationship and that include building strong trade and investment ties, which ultimately becomes the best guarantors of peace within our region which is in line with DC’s Mission.

It is also a good opportunity to put my HNWI contacts to good use by introducing them to Ambassadors to drive business and investment to their countries thereby creating jobs and economic prosperity. By doing so I am creating value to these HNWIs and can draw support from them when needed for example in times of natural disasters and calamities and help make a difference to the world. Just like I have been using my network (The Luxury Network) to get sponsors for products and prizes to help Charities save costs and in their fundraising efforts.






Photo: Christopher Cheah, Irene Ho and Hang Nguyen 







Photo: Dr Ernest Kan, Sascha Zilger, Andreas Dripke, H.E. Dr Mohamed Omar Abdulla Balfaqeeh, Christopher Cheah, Irene Ho, Daniel Mckee, Hang Nguyen, H.E. Dato Zulkifli Adnan, Georg Diehl, H.E. Nimal Weeraratne and H.E. Mohamed Abulkheir








Photo: Group picture at H.E. Dato Zulkifli Adnan’s Residence







Photo: Daniel Mckee, Irene Ho, Sascha Zilger, H.E. Mohamed Abulkheir, H.E. Nimal Weeraratne, Hang Nguyen, H.E. Dr Mohamed Omar Abdulla Balfaqeeh, H.E. Dato Zulkifli Adnan, Georg Diehl and Andreas Dripke

DS: What role will the Diplomatic Council (DC) play in Singapore, in ASEAN and in Asia? (What are your goals and vision in the short term?)

IH: As a Singaporean, I know that it is important for our country to maintain a solid relationship with our neighbors. Among the ASEAN countries, the Singapore Government is also one of the strongest supporters of ASEAN. Singapore has about a population of 5.6 million consumers. If ASEAN comes together to become one market, this means that potentially, we have access to a population of about 628 million consumers.

Our strengths are in critical thinking and thinking on our feet, we will find a niche eventually in how we can add value and contribute through DC.

Our Vision is for DC to be the Ultimate and Premier Networking Platform in Singapore for Ambassadors and the Business Community.
We are happy to take Ambassador members from all 193 UN countries but due to limited resources, our Immediate Priority is to engage up to 25 Ambassadors, their Top Nationals, Top Companies in Singapore and the Top Companies in Singapore who invest in their countries.
With this Vision and Priority, it will create a ripple effect and benefit everyone who comes on board DC.

As per the date of this interview, I am very pleased to share that we have gotten H.E. Bruce Gosper, Australia Ambassador’s support to host the first Exclusive Ambassadors and Captains of Industry Dinner at his prestigious residence! We are targeting to invite ASEAN Ambassadors, Australian Businesses’ CEO, HNWI Investors and Business Owners and will use this as an opportunity to introduce to DC and get their support to come on board.

DS: How can The Diplomatic Society contribute to your aims?

IH: We have an MoU with The Diplomatic Society and they are a reliable and serious media partner. Diplomatic Society can help us raise awareness about our organisation and our activities.

DS: Are there any other inputs you have about DC Singapore?

IH: I have two great mentors on my team who are both older and more experienced.
1) Mr Christopher Cheah, Chairman of DC Mission Singapore and 2) Dr Ernest Kan, Trusted Advisor of DC Mission Singapore.

Chris is the Founder of TrustCapital, a Private Equity Real Estate Firm that was established in 2009. Between 2011-2017, TrustCapital is the number 1 Asian Investment Manager for Australian Real Estate.

Dr Kan is the Deputy Managing Partner of Deloitte Singapore and he heads up four Divisions in South East Asia – 1) Markets, 2) Global IFRS & Offering Services, 3) Global Chinese Services Group and 4) Centre of Corporate Governance.

We all have something in common; we are (Certified) Chartered Accountants and we display traits of Entrepreneurs. I have also worked with both of them previously.

I have worked with Chris when he was the President of Australian Alumni Singapore from 2014 to 2018 while I was the Hon Secretary.

I worked on Dr Kan’s engagements previously at Deloitte Singapore from 2004 to 2008 and I was the first Assistant Manager to join his Team at IPO and Chinese Services Group.

As what Jack Ma said, (along these lines) find people who are smarter than you and get them to be on your team.




February/March 2020








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