Premiered on:
15 Mar 2022 (Tuesday)
3:00–4:30 (Manila time, GMT+8)
Microsoft Teams Meeting

Liberalizing Services and Promoting Digital Services: Prospects for Enhancing Trade in CAREC Countries

Economic diversification is a priority of member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program. Such will increase productivity, integrate better into global value chains, and strengthen economic resilience during crises.  The webinar discussed the findings of the ADB report on Developing the Services Sector for Economic Diversification in CAREC Countries, which analyzes CAREC members’ economic structure and potential for diversification through services development. The webinar focused on liberalization, digital services trade, and regional cooperation to facilitate the growth of services in the CAREC region and beyond.  The webinar featured two related publications: Advancing Digital Services in Asia and the Pacific, the theme chapter of the Asian Economic Integration Report 2022, and the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index 2022: Policy Trends Up to 2022.

Host and Moderator:
Mr. Jong Woo Kang Principal Economist, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department (ERCD), ADB

Jong Woo Kang is Principal Economist at the Economic Research and Cooperation Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He is a seasoned economist with extensive knowledge and experiences on policy and strategic issues. He was senior advisor to the managing director general of ADB and senior economist at Strategy and Policy Department at ADB. He leads the annual publication of Asian Economic Integration Report. Areas of his research interest include regional integration, inclusive growth, macroeconomic and international trade policies, and aid effectiveness. He has published research articles in academic journals such as Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Applied Economics, and Journal of World Trade, and wrote numerous blogs and opinion articles on global macroeconomy and international trade and finance.

Before joining ADB, he was director at Ministry of Finance and Economy of the Republic of Korea. He had got his BA in economics and MA in public administration from Seoul National University, and PhD in economics from University of Washington.

Opening Remarks:
Ms. M. Teresa Kho Director-General, East Asia Department, ADB

M. Teresa Kho is the Director General of the East Asia Department at the Asian Development Bank. Prior to this, she was the Deputy Director General of the East Asia Department (2017–2021), ADB’s Country Director in India (2013–2016) and Country Director in Bangladesh (2012–2013). She was Director of South Asia Urban Development and Water (2010–2011) and Director of the Office of Cofinancing Operations (2008–2010). She joined ADB in 1997 and worked in various departments, including Budget, Personnel and Management Systems Department; Office of the Vice-President Finance and Administration; South Asia Department; and Private Sector Operations Department.

Before joining ADB, she spent 12 years in the United States (US) private sector, performing finance, treasury, and audit functions for Fortune 500 companies. She obtained an MBA from Stanford University, California, US. in 1991 and BA Economics from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, US in 1983.

Advancing Economic Diversification in CAREC Countries through Services Sector Development
Mr. Patrick Low former Chief Economist, World Trade Organization Secretariat; now Senior Advisor, Tulip Consulting, Geneva

Patrick Low is a former Chief Economist (1997-2013) at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Subsequently he was Vice-President for Research at the Fung Global Institute, Hong Kong (2013-15) and Adjunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong (2016-19), with a research focus on the role of services in production and trade. He worked at the GATT Secretariat (1980-87), undertook teaching and research at the Colegio de México, Mexico City (1987-1990) and worked in the research complex at the World Bank (1990-94), prior to joining the WTO. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kent University (UK) and a PhD from Sussex University. He has published widely on trade policy issues.

Mr. Bahodir Ganiev Senior Advisor, Center for Economic Development, Uzbekistan

Bahodir Ganiev is Senior Advisor at the Center for Economic Development, a think tank based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Previously, he taught international economics at Westminster International University in Tashkent and was a staff member of ADB. He also worked for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as a staff member or as a consultant. Mr. Ganiev holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a PhD degree in economics from Tashkent State University of Economics.

Opportunities in Digital Services Trade in Central Asia and Beyond
Mr. Rolando Avendano Economist, ERCD, ADB
Bio Presentation

Rolando Avendano is an Economist at the Economic Research and Cooperation Department of the Asian Development Bank. His research focuses on financial and international economics, with an emphasis on regional integration, competitiveness and foreign direct investment. Prior to joining ADB, he worked for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France. He was partnership coordinator of PARIS21 (OECD Statistics and Data Directorate), economist with the Director’s Office and the Americas Desk (OECD Development Centre), and research associate with the OECD Trade Directorate and Economics Department. Previously, he was a lecturer at the Engineering Faculty of University of Los Andes (Colombia), and research associate at University College London (UK).

A French and Colombian national, he holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from University of Los Andes and a Master and PhD in Economics from the Paris School of Economics (PSE).

Liberalizing Services Trade: Services Trade Restrictiveness Index for Two CAREC Countries—The People’s Republic of China and Kazakhstan
Ms. Irene Olivan Garcia Trade Policy Analyst, Trade in Services Division, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD
Bio Presentation

Irene Oliván is a trade policy analyst at the Trade in Services Division of the OECD. Her work focuses on analyzing policy trends affecting services trade in particular in the digital era. She assists in managing the annual update of the OECD’s Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) as well as the Digital STRI. Irene is a lawyer and previously worked in a multinational law firm where she advised public and private sector clients on data protection, intellectual property and IT law issues.

Moderated Discussions
Closing Remarks and Way Forward
Ms. Emma Fan Director, Public Management, Financial Sector and Regional Cooperation Division, East Asia Department, ADB

Emma Fan has been with Asia Development Bank (ADB) since 2002. She joined ADB’s East Asia Department (EARD) as the Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Regional Cooperation Division (EAPF) on 29 July 2019. EAPF covers a diverse range of operations, including public sector management, financial sector development, regional cooperation, public private partnerships, and EARD’s focal point on nonsovereign operations. Prior to joining EAPF, Emma was the Regional Director for ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office (PLCO) in Sydney from June 2016.

At ADB, Emma also worked as the Head of ADB’s Results Management Unit at the Strategy and Policy Department. Her other ADB experience included working as a project team leader at the South Asian and Central Asian regional departments, and as an economist at the Economic Research Department. Before joining ADB, Emma worked at the Finance Department of Australia, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, and Lanzhou University in the People’s Republic of China. Emma has a PhD degree in Economics from the Australian National University, and Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees of Science from Lanzhou University in China.

Ms. Lyaziza Sabyrova Director, Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division, Central and West Asia Department, ADB

Lyaziza Sabyrova is the Director of the Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division in Central and West Regional Department. After obtaining her PhD degree in Economics from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN, USA), she joined ADB in 2000. She worked on infrastructure projects in the People’s Republic of China, Central Asian, and South Caucasus countries. She was posted in ADB’s Resident Mission in the Kyrgyz Republic from 2006-2008. In the following three years, she was on a special leave from the ADB, during which she was a Deputy Director of an independent private economic think tank in Kazakhstan, the RAKURS Center for Economic Analysis. More recently, she led the work on ADB’s Country Partnership Strategies for several Central Asian and South Caucasus countries, steered the work of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Institute, and was involved in the Department’s analytical work and knowledge management.