Premiered on:
27 Nov 2023 (Monday)
3:004:30 (Manila time, GMT+8) (Manila)
Microsoft Teams Meeting

Overcoming RCEP Implementation and Negotiating Challenges

The webinar aimed to highlight the timely implementation of the RCEP Agreement and the importance of activating the RCEP’s built-in agenda to ensure the effective achievement of RCEP’s goals. Key built-in provisions on trade in goods including rules of origin, trade in services, investment, and electronic commerce were presented and the implementation challenges were discussed. Aware that substantial gains could be further realized if RCEP implementation is joined by an extended and fast-forward ambitious built-in agenda, an extended roadmap was also presented which identifies additional initiatives where the RCEP could bring new benefits with respect to existing and overlapping integration efforts in the region.

Video Link:

Link to YouTube


Agenda (PDF)

Previous Episode:

Integrated Approach to Trade and Transportation Facilitation
8 Aug 2023 10:00–11:30 (Manila time, GMT+8)

Next Episode:

Developing Carbon Market Linkages in Asia and the Pacific
7 Dec 2023 10:00–11:30 (Manila time, GMT+8)
Opening Remarks:
H.E. Sok Sopheak Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia

Since November 10, 2018, H.E. Mr. Sok Sopheak has been nominated by the Royal Government of Cambodia as a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce, following his two-year assignment as an Under Secretary of State since early 2016. His main role is in charge of the General Directorate for Trade Support Services and the General Directorate for International Trade and Reform Policy.

H.E. Mr. SOK Sopheak holds diploma in Electricity Development from Technology Institute of Cambodia in early 1986, a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Faculty of Business in Cambodia in 1992 and master’s degree in Economics and Finance from the School of Orientation for African Study of the University of London, UK in 1997. He also earned another master’s degree in Public Policy from Saitama University, Japan in 2000.

He served for the Provincial Government of Cambodia as Director of Electricity Power Plant Authority of Koh Kong Province since 1988 and moved to work in the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) in 1992. He was promoted as Director of ASEAN and International Organizations Department in 1999 and since then he has played a key role as trade negotiator for Cambodia’s economic integration to ASEAN, ASEAN Plus One FTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

He was promoted as Director General of International Trade, MoC in 2007 and moved to work as a Director General of the General Directorate for Trade Support Services under MoC in 2014, promoting the implementation of trade reform agenda and trade facilitation, including but not limited to, development of online business registration, application of online certification of origin, and online trademarks applications, and amendment of some laws and regulations etc.

Currently, he assumes a role as the Trade Negotiation Committee (TNC) lead in trade negotiations under Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between ASEAN and six foreign participating countries and Chief negotiator for bilateral Free Trade Agreements and trade cooperation between Cambodia and its major trading partners. Moreover, he has been the lead of drafting teams of Law on Trade Remedy and Law on E-commerce which have come into force in 2017 and 2019, respectively. He has also been the lead of three drafting teams for draft law on commercial agent, amendment of law on Commercial Enterprise and amendment of law on Commercial Rules and Enterprise.

Presentation: A Roadmap for RECP Implementation
Pramila Crivelli Economist, Economic Research and Development Impact Department, ADB
Bio Presentation

Pramila Crivelli is an economist at the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Her main fields of specialization are applied econometrics in international trade policy, regional trade agreements, trade negotiations, rules or origin, nontariff measures and geographical indications.

Prior to joining ADB in November 2020, she was an assistant professor at the Goethe University Frankfurt leading the Chair of International Trade. Her work has been published in academic peer reviewed journals including the Journal of International Economics and the World Economy.

She received her PhD from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She accumulated extensive experience in applied economic policy and technical cooperation serving as an economic affairs officer at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, researching at the European University Institute and the World Trade Organization, and carrying out consultancies for various clients in Asia and Africa. She has a strong expertise in delivering capacity building and advisory services to governments, public and private institutions, and trade negotiators in multilateral and regional fora.

Panel Discussion
Kijin Kim Senior Economist, Economic Research and Development Impact Department, ADB

Kijin Kim is an economist in the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank. Since he joined the ADB in 2017, he has been working on trade, trade facilitation, and trade finance within the context of regional cooperation and integration (RCI). He contributed to ADB’s publications on these areas including the Asian Economic Integration Report, Trade Finance Gaps, Growth, and Jobs Survey, and Trade Facilitation and Better Connectivity for an Inclusive Asia and Pacific.

Before joining ADB, he was a research fellow of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois since 2012. From 2004 to 2010, he worked as economist at the Bank of Korea. He earned his PhD in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016, focusing on research within the fields of regional economics and applied econometrics, centered on the role of labor markets, the effects of heterogeneity in consumption spending, and labor market participation on regional economies.

Kejpiroon Kate Kohsuwan Commercial Advisor, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand

Ms. Kejpiroon Kate Kohsuwan has decades-long and extensive experience working in Thailand's international trade matters, economic integration, and trade policy. She started her career at the Department of Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce in 1989 as Trade Officer. She was appointed as Commercial Counsellor to the Office of Commercial Affairs, Washington, D.C. in 1998. She also served the Department of Trade Negotiations in 2003 as Director for European Affairs, and became Assistant Director-General in 2008.

During 2008-2011, she was appointed as Thailand's Lead Negotiator in negotiating Trade in Services and Investment for various FTAs such as Thailand – India FTA, ASEAN – India FTA, and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation FTA. In 2014, Kejpiroon was assigned to Chair the ASEAN Expert Group on Competition on behalf of Thailand.

From 2015 to 2017, in her capacity as Executive Director of the Bureau of Trade in Services and Investment, she led her team in trade in services and investment negotiations in various regional FTAs. She was promoted Deputy Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations in 2017. Since 2021, Kejpiroon has been appointed Commercial Advisor to the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand.

Stefano Inama Chief of Technical Assistance in the Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Stefano Inama is a senior trade lawyer and Chief of Technical Assistance, Trade and Customs in the Division on African and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), UNCTAD Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Inama possesses over 30 years of experience on trade and customs issues matured advising Governments and private sector. He has designed and managed research and trade-related capacity building programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with a focus on trade laws and policy, regulatory and institutional trade issues with a specialization on rules of origin and market access. He has written extensively on these topics, and is the author of one of the most comprehensive analytical books on rules of origin.

Mr. Inama holds Masters and LLM degrees from the University of Bologna and College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. He is member of the faculty of the ASEAN integration through at Center of International Law of Singapore and has been Visiting Lecturer at the Columbia University, the World Trade Institute, Master in International Law and Economics, M.I.L.E. and at IELPO International Economic law and Policy.

Sumanta Chaudhuri retired civil servant; Principal Advisor, International Trade Policy Division, Confederation of Indian Industry

Mr. Sumanta Chaudhuri is a retired Civil servant from India, having two decades of experience on international trade issues. He was Joint Secretary as well as Director in the Department of Commerce, Government of India and handled Trade Policy Division dealing with WTO issues and Regional and Bilateral trade engagements including the negotiations on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). He was also the Deputy Chief Negotiator for the India-EU as well as India-EFTA BTIA negotiations. Earlier, he handled trade relations with South -East Asia and he was India’s Chief Negotiator for the various bilateral and regional agreements in this region, including the India-Malaysia CECA and the India-ASEAN Agreements. He has served as Counselor, Permanent Mission of India to the WTO and was India’s main negotiator on Services in the Doha Round. He was Secretary, Coal, Government of India.

Mr. Chaudhuri has been a resource person in many international forums including WTO, UNCTAD, World Bank, ESCAP, IOM. He has also published some articles on trade, particularly on Services issues and FTA’s. Currently, he is Principal Adviser, International Trade Policy in Confederation of Indian Industry, the apex industry chamber.

Open Floor Discussion / Q&A