U of R Alumni representing at APEC Summit
Travelling to Thailand for economic debate
by pall agarwal, contributor
When Hannah Tait met Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, he told her that she was a strong woman. Tait was one of the seven Canadian delegates and the only one from the University of Regina to represent Canada in the Youth Summit of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Thailand. The former president of the University of Regina Students’ Union holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business, along with a diploma in Political Science from the U of R. She has been actively involved with the community since a very young age, impacting people in Regina all the way to the global level. Co-ordinated by Global Vision, Tait was able to make her mark at APEC 2022.
In a recent interview, Tait mentioned how she had an enlightening, enriching, and wholesome experience at the summit. To be able to create the Youth Declaration along with the delegates from another 13 members from participating economies, they diligently put together youth’s economic and social priorities. There were discussions about different issues like international transferability in terms of work, academia, and gender equity that affect economies. The delegates also got a chance to take tours where some were given by the Thai prime minister himself, surprising all. Tait’s journey at the summit from figuring out how to get to the destination to gracefully presenting at the summit was indeed remarkable and one of the biggest milestones of her life.
People have many takeaways from opportunities like these, and so did Tait. She found it very impactful that there was a major emphasis on how recognized the Indigenous population is in every economy. “Always expect the unexpected,” said Tait on facing different challenges and obstacles during this golden time. Majorly involved with Hill JDC West for overly 3 years, Tait has beautifully grasped the art of making through these situations and working though pressure and time-sensitive circumstances.
Moreover, her experience with different cultures in the summit gave her one of the biggest takeaways that people often neglect: trust. She emphasized how important it is to trust each other, give people a chance, and believe in them. Furthermore, fighting new positions on the spot was also in her list as the summit gave her an international exposure to the different challenges one can face to make it through the world.
Tait also made it to Bangkok Time’s front cover during her time at APEC 2022. Interacting with the CEOs, VPs, and VCs of different companies was described as one of the memorable parts, and her interaction with the CEO of Acer was aptly put as the best out there. Getting a chance to discuss Canada’s status with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of the impactful conversations.
When being asked for advice for future participants or young delegates, the response held a strong emphasis on showing up to places and confidently going outside your comfort zone. It is imperative to realise that to make it so far with grit and determination, getting outside the regular circle is very important. This cultural exposure on a large scale brought out the ‘rockstar’ side of her when she, along with the other Canadian delegates, performed to Justin Bieber’s “Baby” in plaid shirts, hyping the audience and bringing together the world to their tunes.
An experience of a lifetime, Tait highlighted the support from Ethical Digital, Global Vision, University of Regina with the International Experience scholarship, the University of Regina Students’ Union with the Project, Event, and Conference Bursary, Hill Business Students’ Society’s Conference Fund, and Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership. Making the nation proud and Regina even moreso, Tait certainly left a mark.