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23 June 2022, 14:00 - 16:30 Indochina Time / Bangkok | Open meeting

Virtual Event (GMT+7), 14:00-16:30 PM, Bangkok, Thailand
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Digital trade has opened up new opportunities for governments to leverage trade for economic and sociatal objectives. Fostering integration through digital trade is crucial for many developing countries to achieve sustainable growth in the 21st century. Digitalisation entails several potential socio-economic benefits. Yet, the benefits of digital trade are not shared equally. The access to new opportunities in the least developed countries (LDCs) and for the Micro-, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) is still relatively low.

As a preliminary step towards building a greater understanding of the digital trade policy environment in the Asia-Pacific region, ESCAP, in collaboration with the OECD, has published the Asia-Pacific Digital Trade Regulatory Report (APDTR) 2022 on the regulatory analysis done for selected countries. The report summarizes the key findings and insights across selected economies in their regulatory databases.

The report finds that different countries follow different regulatory approaches. Acknowledging that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution, the report aims to provide a platform for sharing experiences. Starting with evidence-based dialogues could facilitate the identification of common ground for promoting regulatory cooperation and interoperability in the long run. This platform can also help understand economies' capacity constraints and explore the possibility of technical assistance and policy advisories.

In this webinar, ESCAP and OECD will present their report findings. A panel session will follow it to discuss the way forward for regulatory cooperation among the economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The discussions would also focus on the needs of countries in special situations, including the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs), and the technical assistance required to meet their sustainable development goals and sustainable graduation of LDCs.

 

 

ESCAP-OECD Initiative on Digital Trade Regulatory Analysis: https://www.unescap.org/projects/dtra

Note: Please register at the registration tab or QR code.

Opening remarks

Ms. Rupa Chanda
Ms. Rupa Chanda
Director, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division (TIID), ESCAP
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Ms. 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).

Mr. John Drummond
Mr. John Drummond
Head, Trade in Services Division, OECD
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Mr. John Drummond is Head of the Trade in Services Division in the Trade and Agriculture Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He leads the work of the Trade in Services Division in providing evidence-based policy advice on issues such as services trade liberalisation, global value chains, trade and investment and trade policy-making in the digital economy. In particular, Mr. Drummond is responsible for the continued development of the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) that provides policy makers and negotiators with information and measurement tools to open up international trade in services and negotiate international trade agreements. Mr. Drummond, a Canadian national, has more than seventeen years of experience with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. He has held a variety of positions related to bilateral, regional and multilateral trade policy and negotiations including, in particular, in the area of services trade.

Mr. Drummond holds an Honours B.A. in International Relations from the University of Windsor and a Diploma of Graduate Studies in International Economics from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales.

Brief introduction to the ESCAP-OECD collaboration

Mr. Yann Duval
Mr. Yann Duval
Chief, Trade Policy and Facilitation Section, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division (TIID), ESCAP
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Mr. Yann Duval is currently Chief of Trade Policy and Facilitation at ESCAP, the regional branch of the United Nations Secretariat for Asia and the Pacific.

Over the past 15 years, Mr. Duval has conducted research and delivered technical assistance and advisory services on trade policy and facilitation throughout Asia and the Pacific, including on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. He spearheaded the development of the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), as well as the creation of the ESCAP-World Bank Trade Cost Database and the UN Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation. Mr. Duval was also instrumental in the development of the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade and Transport in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT) and the negotiation of a new intergovernmental Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, adopted as a UN treaty in 2016.

Prior to joining the UN, He held faculty positions at the Asian Institute of Technology and Washington State University, USA.

Asia-Pacific Digitial Trade Regulatory Report 2022

Ms. Witada Anukoonwattaka
Ms. Witada Anukoonwattaka
Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Policy and Facilitation Section, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division (TIID), ESCAP
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Ms. Witada Anukoonwattaka is a core researcher for the division, in particular the Trade Policy and Facilitation Section, and leading the DigiSRII 1.0 project of ESCAP. Her research areas cover economic impacts of trade and investment policies as well as contemporary trade  issues of Asia-Pacific countries including trade tensions, global value chains, regional integration, services and digital-trade policies, and trade policies to support sustainable development.  She has also run and served as a resource person for capacity-building programmes, particularly those related to evidence-based policymaking and research. Before joining ESCAP, she was a lecturer of the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat University, Thailand, and also worked  in the advisory team of Thailand’s minister of industry, foreign affairs, and commissioner of Thailand’s National Telecommunications Commission. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Melbourne, Australia. 

Ms. Irene Olivan Garcia
Ms. Irene Olivan Garcia
Trade Policy Analyst, Trade in Services Division, OECD
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Irene Olivan Garcia is a trade policy analyst at the Trade in Services Division of the OECD. Her work focuses on analysing 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 law firm on data protection, intellectual property and IT law issues.

Moderator

Mr. Yann Duval
Mr. Yann Duval
Chief, Trade Policy and Facilitation Section, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division (TIID), ESCAP
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Mr. Yann Duval is currently Chief of Trade Policy and Facilitation at ESCAP, the regional branch of the United Nations Secretariat for Asia and the Pacific.

Over the past 15 years, Mr. Duval has conducted research and delivered technical assistance and advisory services on trade policy and facilitation throughout Asia and the Pacific, including on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. He spearheaded the development of the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), as well as the creation of the ESCAP-World Bank Trade Cost Database and the UN Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation. Mr. Duval was also instrumental in the development of the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade and Transport in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT) and the negotiation of a new intergovernmental Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, adopted as a UN treaty in 2016.

Prior to joining the UN, He held faculty positions at the Asian Institute of Technology and Washington State University, USA.

Panel session: Toward inclusive and sustainable digital trade integration in the Asia-Pacific region

Mr. Vahagn Ghazaryan
Mr. Vahagn Ghazaryan
Director, Department for Customs Tariff and Non-Tariff Regulation, Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC)
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Vahagn Rudolfovich Ghazaryan was born in Moscow. In 1994, he graduated from the Yerevan State University, specialty "Radiophysics".

From 1994 to 2000 he was First Deputy Director, Adviser to Director of Araks, CJSC in Yerevan, the Republic of Armenia.

From 2000 to 2008 he was Leading Specialist, Chief Specialist, Deputy Head, Head of the Department for collaborating with the WTO and implementing Cooperation Agreement with the European Union at the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development of the Republic of Armenia.

From 2014 to 2017, he was Professor of Customs Law at the State Non-Profit Organization "Training Center of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Armenia".

He has been working at the Eurasian Economic Commission since 2017. Prior to his appointment as Director of the Department for Customs Tariff and Non-Tariff Regulation, he held the position of Deputy Director of the EEC Trade Policy Department​.

Mr. Sivaram Superamanian
Mr. Sivaram Superamanian
Assistant Director for Digital Economy, ASEAN Secretariat
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Sivaram is an Assistant Director at the ASEAN Secretariat and currently heading the Digital Economy Division. His key roles is to influence digital policies and implement digital initiatives that would increase the trade and investment across the 10 ASEAN countries. Bringing more than 20 years of experience in digital transformation, Sivaram has successfully implemented large scale digital initiatives for both the public and private sectors. Sivaram has also advised various Governments in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa on the transformative strategy to improve the Economic Sectors and increase the country’s GDP, job creation and investment.

Mr. Raoul Renard
Mr. Raoul Renard
Deputy Director, Legal Reform, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
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Raoul represents global business at the United Nations General Assembly, working in the Office of the Permanent Observer to the United Nations of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Raoul led the ICC delegation to the Global Pact for the Environment negotiations at UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya, and spoke about the global business role at seminars in Nairobi, Ottawa and New York City.

He also leads the ICC working group on e-commerce, providing business perspectives for the Joint Statement Initiative on the trade-related aspects of electronic commerce at the World Trade Organization.

Raoul develops guidance and briefs on a wide range of international public policy issues, including the economic and fiscal response to COVID-19, the equitable distribution of vaccines, and digital trade.

Before joining ICC, Raoul was part of the litigation practice of a leading Australian law firm, and was seconded as a lawyer to the Australian Anti-Dumping Commission.

Ms. Jane Drake-Brockman
Ms. Jane Drake-Brockman
Executive Director, Australian Services Roundtable and Industry Professor, Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide
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Jane Drake-Brockman is one of Asia Pacific’s foremost experts on trade and competitiveness in services, with a current research focus on digital trade.  She brings a mix of experience formed across business, academia, government, and multiple international government organizations, having served with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, OECD Secretariat in Paris and International Trade Centre in Geneva. 

A former senior diplomat and trade negotiator, she held the position of Chief Economist in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and Charge d’Affaires at the Australian Delegation to the EU in Brussels.  She founded and co-chairs the Asia Pacific Services Coalition, has a close long-standing association with APEC and practical background in trade and regional integration projects across Asia and the Pacific.  

Jane is a member of the G20-Trade and Investment Research Network and Co-Chair of the THINK20 Taskforce I on Open Trade and Sustainable Investment. 

Mr. Simon Hess
Mr. Simon Hess
Head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, the Executive Secretariat for the EIF, WTO
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Simon is the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation for the EIF and the focal point in the EIF for thematic issues related to the 2030 Development Agenda, Agriculture and SPS/TBT issues. Bringing more than 15 years' experience in trade and development across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Simon has worked as an advisor with the Government of Lao PDR and as a director of an international development firm based in the UK and South Africa. Having spent most of his life in Africa, studying in South Africa and Canada, Simon has a Masters' degree in Economics focused around award winning research on industrial development and trade. Amongst other areas, Simon has worked on regional integration, sustainability certification, and practical trade support. He continues research in areas such as the future direction for Aid for Trade.

Mr. Suphat Suphachalasai
Mr. Suphat Suphachalasai
Commissioner, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission,Thailand
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Dr. Suphat Suphachalasai received his Ph.D. in Economics from Australian National University in 1989. He is an Associate Professor at Thammasat University and Director of Thammasat Institute of Area Studies (TIARA), Director of Australian Studies Centre and Director of Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS). He was also with Faculty of Economics and a Chairman of Graduate Study Program.

His general research interests span a wide range of topics including Trade Policy, Trade Negotiations Industrialization Policies in Developing Countries, Industrial Economics, Economics of Telecommunication and Australian Studies. He was an international editorial board of Telecommunication Policy Journal. He is an editorial board in a new book series “Advances in Information and Communication Research” to be published by Springer.

He also worked as a policy advisor to Prime minister of Thailand in Economic Affairs (1996-1997), policy advisor to Minister of finance (1996-1997), policy advisor to Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001-2004) and policy advisor to Deputy Prime minister in Foreign Affairs (2005-2006).

As a consultant, Dr. Suphat has worked with many Thai Government agencies such as Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Board, Thailand Research Fund, the World Bank, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). He was a chief of consultant team supporting Ministry of Foreign Affairs in negotiations of Free Trade Agreements between Thailand and Japan as well as Thailand and the United States.

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Ms. Luisa Lagiono Letlet
NTDC Secretariat/ Aid for Trade Management Unit l VAMU, Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce & Ni-Vanuatu Business, Vanuatu
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Mr. Gobinda Bahadur Karkee
Mr. Gobinda Bahadur Karkee
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Nepal
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Mr. Gobinda Bahadur Karkee assumed the responsibility of Consul General of Nepal in Lhasa, China on 19 May  2016. He joined Nepalese Civil Service in December 1996. In 21 years of his career, he held a variety of positions in the Government of Nepal. Mr. Karkee served as a Planning Officer at National Planning Commission. Similarly, he served as the Local Development Officer at Lamjung, Bhojpur and Kavrepalanchowk districts. Mr. Karkee also served as a Under Secretary in the Ministry of  Local Development.

Mr Karkee also served as the Chief District Officer (Joint Secretary level) in Doti and Kanchanpur districts and Chief Immigration Officer at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. Prior to his appointment in the post of Consul General of Nepal in Lhasa, Mr. Karkee was working in the capacity of the Director General of the Department of Tourism.

During his career, Mr. Karkee has attended various national and international professional trainings, seminars, meetings and fairs in the field of development planning and monitoring, budgeting, management and development, industry/trade development, decentralization and local government, e-government, service delivery, immigration administration, security management and tourism promotion.

for more information, please contact

Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]
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