ALMOST seven months after resigning from the Regent International Hotels, Mr Robert Burns has set up office at Alexandra House in Central. Mr Burns founded the Regent in 1970 and built it into a company renowned for its luxury hotels. ''I am currently involved in investing in equities in companies invested for me by analysts here,'' he said, declining to elaborate. However, he was keen to speak on a project he had kept close to his heart for many years. ''I hope to develop a fund to send Asians to study anything they want in America,'' Mr Burns said, adding that he would fund the project. Asked why he wanted to develop such a fund, he said: ''Because I came to Asia, and thanks to a lot of great Asian people, I prospered. ''A good friend of mine, Sir S.K. Tang, said to me years ago: 'You made your money in Asia and you must leave your money in Asia. You prospered in Asia; then you should help other Asians to prosper', and I believe in that.'' Home, he said, was Hongkong, and he gave up his American citizenship some time ago. ''I am very much committed to Asia and there are so many good and bright people here. ''Asia may have problems but it has this tremendous vibrance - a great and young population who are bright and very well-educated and who work hard.'' Mr Burns recalled the time he first arrived in Hongkong in 1970 when it was ''very British'' and very hard for an American. ''There was the old boy network and I dealt with the Chinese people who helped me and became friends with me. ''Cheng Yu-tung [head of the New World group] was a great benefactor in helping me get involved in hotels.'' He said it was very difficult for anyone coming into Hongkong to build a company from scratch. On how an American came to be accepted by the local community, he said: ''If you bring a certain kind of talent and sincerity to a community, you will eventually get into it.'' At present, his work includes being a board member of Baring Brothers and chairman of the environment research centre for the World Travel and Tourism Council. Later this year, he will be teaching at the Hawaii University on how to develop a country's travel industry. His advice to young people with dreams of running their own business is: ''Learn the ropes of whatever you want to do and then come out and do it on your own. ''There is no better place to do it on your own than here in Hongkong.''