AEIR 2023

10th Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum Week

Next Generation Trade Facilitation for Sustainable Development

The Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) is the leading regional platform for the exchange of good practices and knowledge on trade facilitation. The APTFF has been organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with a growing number of partners, since 2009. The Forum attracts over 250 participants from over 30 countries, and offers extensive opportunities for capacity building and cooperation.

The 10th Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum focused on how trade facilitation should evolve to enhance the resilience of international supply chainsin times of pandemic and to better support sustainable economic recovery and development in the Asia-Pacific region. In this regard, the Forum explored how trade digitalization and emerging technologies can be used to ensure that new generation trade facilitation measures are inclusive and sustainable, enabling effective participation of SMEs and less developed economies in international trade.

The Forum featured panel discussions, interactive and informative sessions which allowed the participants to share experiences and perspectives on different aspects of trade facilitation, including trade finance, cross-border ecommerce and paperless trade, transit, innovative application of emerging technologies, etc. The Forum featured relevant regional initiatives and implementation cases in each session. The Forum also included a number of side-events providing more in-depth exploration of pertinent trade facilitation issues.

More information about the Forum.

Event details:


10:00 (GMT+8, Manila) Monday, 29 August 2022
09:00 (GMT+8, Manila) Tuesday, 30 August 2022


Programme (PDF)


  • Mr. Kijin Kim
    Economist, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank
  • Ms. Aleli A. Rosario
    Senior Economics Officer, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank


Day 1: 29 August 2022toggle


10:00 – 10:30
Registration and Coffee/Tea
10:30 – 11:00
Opening Session:
Ms. Low Yen Ling Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore

Low Yen Ling was elected as a Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang GRC in the 2011, 2015 and 2020 General Elections. She is presently the Minister of State for the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). Prior to that, she was the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education (MOE) from 2015 till July 2020 and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) from 2018 till July 2020. She had also previously held office in the Ministry of Social and Family Development (2013–2015), MCCY (2014–2015) and MTI (2015–2018).

Ms Low began her career in the private sector with experience in financial institutions and a start-up venture. Thereafter, she joined the Singapore Economic Development Board and in her decade of service, played a key role in strengthening Singapore’s entrepreneurial landscape and professional services sector. In 2011, she became Chief Executive Officer of Business China, an organisation nurturing Chinese biculturalism, bilingualism and collaboration with China. With her strong bicultural and bilingual background, she spearheaded unique programmes to immerse business leaders in China and deepen young Singaporeans’ knowledge of modern China.

Drawing on her strong ties with the local business community, Ms Low is presently Advisor for the Singapore Business Federation’s (SBF) SME Committee (SMEC) and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SCCCI) Trade Association Committee (TACOM). She also serves on the multi-agency national SG Clean taskforce to uphold high standards of public and personal hygiene beyond Covid-19. In addition, Ms Low is Chairperson of the Mayors’ Committee and Mayor of South West District.

With a heart for the underprivileged, Ms Low continues to serve as a board member of the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) where she steers its Student and Parent Education Committee to expand the organisation’s reach and support to low-income students and families. Under her leadership, CDAC and its partners have established more than 20 Big Heart Student Care centres island- wide to provide after-school care to students of all races. Ms Low also contributes in the area of education as a member of the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Executive Committee.

In her past role as MOE’s Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ms Low led the ministry’s efforts to strengthen students’ foundation in their learning of the Chinese language. In her capacity as Chairman of the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL), Vice- Chairperson of the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism, and Advisor to the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL), Ms Low expanded the breadth and depth of public outreach programmes that attracted increased participation from pre-schoolers, youths and parents.

Ms Low also spearheaded the drive to improve communications and public awareness of SkillsFuture, the national lifelong learning movement. These efforts were synergistic with her responsibility as Senior Parliamentary Secretary of MTI where she aligned the government’s SkillsFuture thrust with several Industry Transformation Maps (ITM) to help businesses meet the challenges of a changing economy. At MOM, Ms Low advanced the interests and skills of workers, focusing on older Singaporeans, women and young graduates.

As a mother of two school-going children, Ms Low spends the free time she has mostly with her family.

Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana Under-Secretary-General, United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on 13 September 2018.

Prior to joining ESCAP, Ms. Alisjahbana was Professor of Economics at Universitas Padjadjaran in Bandung, Indonesia, a position she assumed in 2005. She joined Universitas Padjadjaran as a lecturer in 1988. Since 2016, she has served as Director for the Center for Sustainable Development Goals Studies at Universitas Padjadjaran and Vice Chair of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences.

She also serves on the Governing Board of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and member of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences (Akademi Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia - AIPI), the Forum of Statistics Community (Forum Masyarakat Statistik or Advisory Council of the Indonesian Statistics), the International Advisory Board of the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies and Council Member of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI).

From 2009 to 2014, she was Minister of National Development Planning and the Head of the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), Indonesia. She served as Co-chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation from 2012 to 2014. From 2009 to 2014, she was Alternate Governor of the World Bank and Alternate Governor of the Asian Development Bank representing the government of Indonesia. In 2016, she was a member of the High Level Independent Team of Advisors to support the ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer term positioning of the United Nations Development System in the context of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Ms. Alisjahbana has been involved in various research projects and consultancies to the United Nations University/Institute for Advanced Study in Tokyo, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the European Commission, and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Ms. Alisjahbana earned her Bachelor degree in Economics and Development Studies from Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia, a Masters degree in Economics from Northwestern University, USA and a Ph.D in Economics from University of Washington, USA. She was awarded the Mahaputra Adipradana Order (Bintang Mahaputra Adipradana) from the Republic of Indonesia, honorary brevet from the Indonesian Navy and honorary flight wing from the Indonesian Air Force.

Mr. Albert Park Chief Economist and Director General, ERCD, Asian Development Bank

Albert F. Park is Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Director General of its Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department. He is chief spokesperson on economic and development trends and leads the production of ADB’s flagship knowledge products and support for regional cooperation fora. He has more than 2 decades of experience as a development economist and is a well-known expert on the economy of the People’s Republic of China. He has worked on a broad range of development issues including poverty and inequality, intergenerational mobility, microfinance, migration and labor markets, the future of work, and foreign investment.

He is Chair Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Policy at HKUST (on leave). He served as a founding director of HKUST’s Institute for Emerging Market Studies and professor at the University of Oxford. A national of the United States, he received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and his doctorate in applied economics from Stanford University.

11:00 – 11:05
11:05 – 12:35
High Level Panel Discussion: Next Generation Trade Facilitation for Sustainable Development
  • Recent trends in trade and implications for trade facilitation
  • The role of trade digitalization and emerging technologies in making next generation trade facilitation measures more inclusive and sustainable
  • Opportunities for trade facilitation to evolve and enhance resilience of international supply chains and better support sustainable recovery in the Asia-Pacific region
Ms. Rupa Chanda Director, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, UNESCAP

Rupa Chanda is the Director of Trade, Investment and Innovation. Prior to that, she was a Professor of Economics at IIM Bangalore and the Dean of Programmes at the institute. She has worked as an Economist at the IMF and briefly served as Head, UNESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia in New Delhi. Prof. Chanda received her PhD in Economics from Columbia University and her Bachelor’s from Harvard University. She teaches Macroeconomics and International Trade and has received teaching awards. Her research interests include the WTO, trade in services, regional integration and migration. She has undertaken research and professional assignments for international and Indian organizations and has published extensively in the form of books, journal articles, book chapters, and reports. She is active professionally as a research guide, reviewer, and member of several expert committees. She was member of the WHO’s Review Committee on the functioning of the International Health Regulations (2015–16) and the WHO’s Expert Advisory Group, International Recruitment of Health Personnel (2019–20).

H.E. Mr. Abdurahmonzoda Abdurahmon Safarali Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Republic of Tajikistan

Abdurahmonzoda Abdurahmon is Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan and Chairman of SPECA Working Group on Trade. He has been Awarded with the Certificate of Merit of the Government of Tajikistan “For impeccable services in the performance of official duties, development of the economy and trade during the period of state independence of the Republic of Tajikistan.” He is a honorable teacher in Faculty of Finance and Economics of the Tajik National University.

H.E. Mr. Riyaz Mansoor Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Development, Maldives

Riyaz Mansoor is Deputy Minister at Ministry of Economic Development. After completing his graduate studies from Australia, his immediate work life at the Ministry of Economic Development in the Civil Service, was closely related trade regulatory matters, both domestic and international, in a capacity similar to a trade regulator. During this time, he headed key sections as both Assistant Director and Director in charge of those sections. On the international side, key project work was carried out with UNIDO and the German PTB organization. Important private sector work and accomplishments include the first certification of 7 fishery export companies to ISO 22,000 certification in line with EU requirements. Further, he worked in the Maldives Embassy in Geneva, Switzerland, managing trade related issues, working closely with the WTO and WIPO among others.

Thereafter, after 13 years, he moved away from the Civil Service. He worked at the Maldives Pension Administration Office for about 2 years as Manager for Collections and Payouts. Subsequently, He moved onto doing private consultancies. He had consulted for the Government as well as internationally to the Asian Development Bank - again mostly on trade regulation, specifically on barriers to trade.

He joined the Government as Deputy Minister at the Ministry of National Planning and Infrastructure in January 2019, working on national planning aspects. He moved to the Ministry of Economic Development as Deputy Minister in June 2020. His current overall portfolio includes trade and investment as well as trade policy.

Appointed in October 2019, he is also the current chairperson of the Minimum Wage Advisory Board (an instrument of the Employment Act) which played a pivotal role in establishing the first minimum wage in Maldives, in January 2022.

H.E. Mr. Ulziisaikhan Ganbold Director-General, Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mongolia

Ulziisaikhan Ganbold Director-General, Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Mr. Ulziisaikhan Ganbold is the Director of Economic Cooperation and Foreign Trade Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since October 2021. Technical and service officer at the Department of Public Administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2010–2011 Attaché, Third Secretary, Department of Contracts and Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2011–2016 t Consultant, Economic Cooperation and Foreign Trade Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2016–2017 Deputy Director, Economic Cooperation and Foreign Trade Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2017–2021

Ms. Deborah Elms Founder and Executive Director, Asian Trade Centre

Deborah Elms is the Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre (ATC). She is Vice Chair of the Advisory Board for the Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA), Co-Chair of the Trade Policy Committee of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA), and also a senior fellow in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Trade Academy.

Previously, Dr. Elms was head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations (TFCTN) and Senior Fellow of International Political Economy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Dr. Elms received a PhD in political science from the University of Washington, a MA in international relations from the University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees from Boston University. Dr. Elms publishes the Talking Trade Blog.

Ms. Anabel González Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization

Anabel González, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization.

Ms Anabel González (Costa Rica) is a renowned global expert on trade, investment and economic development with a proven managerial track record in international organizations and the public sector. In government, Ms Gonzalez served as Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica; as Director- General for International Trade Negotiations; as Director-General of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE); and as Special Ambassador and Chief negotiator of the US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. Ms Gonzalez also served at the World Bank as a Senior Director, the WTO as Director of the Agriculture and Commodities Division and as Senior Consultant with the Inter-American Development Bank. More recently, Ms Gonzalez has worked as a Non- Resident Senior Fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Ms Gonzalez obtained her master’s degree from Georgetown University Law Center with the highest academic distinction and has published extensively on economic issues and trade.

Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret Secretary, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

Anna Joubin-Bret is the Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the Director of the International Trade Law Division in the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, which functions as the substantive secretariat for UNCITRAL. She is the ninth Secretary the Commission since it was established by the General Assembly in 1966.

Prior to her appointment on 24 November 2017, Ms. Joubin-Bret practiced law in Paris, specializing in International Investment Law and Investment Dispute Resolution. She focused on serving as counsel, arbitrator, mediator and conciliator in international investment disputes. She served as arbitrator in several ICSID, UNCITRAL and ICC disputes. Prior to 2011 and for 15 years, Ms. Joubin-Bret was the Senior Legal Adviser for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She edited and authored seminal research and publications on international investment law, notably the Sequels to UNCTAD IIA Series and co- edited with Jean Kalicki a book on Reform of Investor-State Dispute Settlement in 2015.

Ms. Joubin-Bret holds a post-graduate degree (DEA) in Private International Law from the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, a Master’s Degree in International Economic Law from University Paris I and in Political Science from Institut d’Etudes Politiques. She was Legal Counsel in the legal department of the Schneider Group, General Counsel of the KIS Group and Director-Export of Pomagalski S.A. She was appointed judge at the Commercial Court in Grenoble (France) and was elected Regional Counsellor of the Rhône-Alpes Region in 1998.

Mr. Antoine Cadoux CEO, Singapore Trade Data Exchange

Antoine Cadoux is the CEO of Singapore Trade Data Exchange Services (SGTraDex).

Antoine has over 15 years of experience in leadership roles and worked with companies across a range of industries – industrial products, transportation & logistics, automotive, retail, and mining – as well as geographies from North America, Europe, to Asia. He has deep expertise in strategy, operations and digital transformation working with companies to design and implement market-back strategies for competitive advantage.

He was previously a Director at Strategy&, a global consulting business unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Antoine also spent five years as Director of Operations at National Optronics, a leading manufacturer of lens processing equipment in the US.

A native of France, Antoine graduated from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a Master of Science and industrial engineering and engineering management. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

12:35 - 14:10


Session 1: Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific – State of play and prospects


Session 2: Regional initiatives for trade digitalization – progress made and way forward

Day 2: 30 August 2022toggle

Session 3: Making trade facilitation more sustainable: lessons learned from good practices


Session 4: Facilitating trade finance for MSMEs


Session 5: Aid for sustainable trade facilitation: evolving needs and available support


Session 6: APTFF Trade Facilitation Innovation Awards