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06 October 2022, 14:00 - 16:30 Indochina Time / Bangkok | Open meeting

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The Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (CPTA), a UN treaty deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York, entered into force in February 2021. CPTA will complement the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) under the auspices of WTO, accelerate digital trade and bring substantial economic and social benefits to the countries in the region.

The ASEAN Work Plan for Implementation of ASEAN E-Commerce Agreement indicates that  “a coordinated effort for AMS to accede to the UNESCAP Framework Agreement will send a strong global signal of ASEAN’s intention to accelerate paperless trade.”

This meeting aims to discuss the potential benefits for AMS to join the Framework Agreement. Furthermore, regardless of whether a country is a party to CPTA, readiness assessments should be conducted to identify legal and technical gaps for cross-border paperless trade.

This meeting will be action oriented. It will discuss the possible actions the AMS can take in order to accede to CPTA, as well as the possible measures the AMS can take to carry out the readiness assessment in these AMS which have not conducted such assessment.

Opening remarks

Yann Duval
Mr. Yann Duval
Chief, Trade Policy and Facilitation Section, 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.

Cuong Ba Tran
Mr. Cuong Ba Tran
Assistant Director, ASEAN Secretariat
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Mr. Cuong Ba Tran is currently the Assistant Director, Trade Facilitation Division, Market Integration Directorate, the ASEAN Secretariat. He has joined the ASEAN Secretariat since September 2018.

His main duties are to provide policy and technical advices / recommendations pertaining to the implementation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and trade-in-goods related activities; participate the FTA negotiations to provide advice and support for ASEAN Member States in the areas of rules of origin, trade in goods, trade facilitation and customs; develop, monitor, and implement programs and projects in support of the establishment of a single market and production base, particularly in liberalization and facilitation of trade in goods; support and service relevant sectoral bodies under ASEAN Economic Community pillar. He also covers other broad areas including Trade Facilitation, ASEAN Single Window, and Customs Integration. Mr. Tran serviced the RCEP negotiation from 2018 to 2020 (until the end of negotiation).

Before joining the ASEAN Secretariat, he serviced Ministry of Trade and Industry of Viet Nam in almost 14 years as a trade negotiator. He participated in various FTA negotiations, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (now renamed as CP-TPP), Viet Nam – Israel, Viet Nam – EFTA, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN- Australia – New Zealand, ASEAN – Korea, and ASEAN – China FTA. Under such negotiations, he covered a number of areas, such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment, rules of origin, customs procedures, and trade facilitation. He is also a WTO expert in Goods, Services, Trade Remedies, and Agriculture.

 

Session 1 - CPTA and implications for ASEAN

Tengfei Wang
Mr. Tengfei Wang
Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Policy and Facilitation, ESCAP
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Dr. Tengfei Wang is currently an Economic Affairs Officer at UNESCAP. Prior to February 2008 when he joined the UNESCAP, he was a Senior Lecturer in Transport/Logistics/Supply Chain Management at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. He is the author or coauthor of a book and over 30 published peer-reviewed research papers and acted as the chairman of International Association of Maritime Economists 2008 annual conference. Dr Wang was the winner of PhD competition (2002-2005), The 'Palgrave Macmillan' Prize in Maritime Economics and Logistics. The award is for the best PhD thesis successfully defended during 2002-2005 in the field of maritime economics and logistics, as determined by an international jury comprising all members of the editorial board of Maritime Economics and Logistics (MEL).

Wang Jian
Mr. Wang Jian
Director at Center for International Business Studies, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China
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Jian Wang, a chair professor of international business and e-business, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China. He is director of Center for International Business Studies and Cross-border E-commerce, an expert of APEC e-commerce Alliance, an expert of trade facilitation at UN ESCAPE, an expert of Digital Economy Committee of International Chamber of Commerce, and has done a lot of research and consulting on e-business model and regulation for policy makers and regulators. He is among the experts of consultants for China's legislation of e-commerce law.

He is an active keynote speaker and resource person in discussions and workshops and activities for APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) , PECC (Pacific Economic Cooperation Council) , ADB (the Asian Development Bank), UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), UNESCAP (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) in the areas of trade facilitation, cross-border e-commerce, inclusive trade and finance.

He is a consultant and expert for China’s Ministry of Commerce and large EC Platforms. He is a researcher and consultant for Alibaba Research Academy. He has completed a number of research projects and drafting of reports in areas of assessment of paperless trading among APEC economies, cross-border data privacy issues, cross-border e-commerce platform's role on trade facilitation, e-commerce opportunities for LDCs, and e-commerce platforms and inclusive trade, etc.

He is also an active participant in APEC and U.N. events on policy discussion and e-commerce law.  Besides, he also teaches import & export business and international business negotiations. He is chief instructor and trainer for government officials( from China and other countries) and corporate executives to enhancing negotiating capabilities.

Rama Ha
Mr. Sung Heun Ha
Director, International Business and Cooperation, Korea Trade Network
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Sung Heun has over 20 years of experience in the trade facilitation industry. Through his career, he has worked on many projects across the Asia Pacific, Africa and South America. He is currently the Director of International Business and Cooperation, Korea Trade Network (KTNET). In KTNET, he oversees the planning and development of cross-border paperless trade services and implementation of Single Window and other e-Government system projects in overseas by Korea’s national paperless trade platform development experience. In this capacity, he has initiated several cross-border public and private partnership programs for cross-border paperless trade among Asian countries, including Pan Asian e-Commerce Alliance (PAA) and world-first cross-border electronic certificate of an origin exchange project between Republic of Korea and Taiwan province of China. Currently, he is an advisor to UN Network of Experts of Trade and Transportation and a chairperson of the technical workgroup of the PAA, managing the technical framework of cross-border paperless trade service of PAA. His previous experience with the Trade and Investment division in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific lends a strategic edge to Sung Heun to make strategic decisions related to paperless trade and trade facilitation.

Dennis Pantastico
Mr. Dennis Pantastico
ITC and ESCAP Consultant
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A trade facilitation and single window expert with over 20 years of experience, with a particular emphasis on customs modernization, integrated risk management, freight forwarding operation and strategic trade management. Aside from his engagement as UN ITC national lead on Integrated Risk Management and the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program, he is the regional adviser of the USAID funded ASEAN Policy Implementation project assisting Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines in complying with their ASEAN trade facilitation commitments. Further, he got engaged by the UN ESCAP as a consultant in developing the Cross-border Paperless Trade feasibility framework. 

Moreover, UNDP Lebanon hired him for fourteen (14) months as an International Logistics Facilitation Expert to support the “Strengthening Arab Economic Integration for Sustainable Development (AEISD)” project. In 2020, he co-authored the study on “Expediting Low Value Shipments in ASEAN” under the ASEAN-USAID IGNITE project covering the ASEAN Member States’ policies and customs procedures on de minimis (category 2) and low value dutiable (category 3) shipments. 

He has been involved in developing the Single Window platforms (regional and national) since 2005 when he worked as part of the of a small group of ASEAN Experts in crafting the ASW Technical Guide, which is annexed to the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) Protocol. In 2009, he led the Laos NSW roadmap development effort and helped draft the Vietnam NSW master plan. On other trade facilitation initiatives, he developed his expertise in implementing customs modernization projects and digitized licensing and permit processing with regulatory agencies during his twelve-year tenure with SGS Far East Ltd, Manila Liaison Office and the Bureau of Customs of the Philippines.

Session 2 - Readiness assessment for cross-border paperless trade: ASEAN workshop

Tengfei Wang
Mr. Tengfei Wang
Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Policy and Facilitation, ESCAP
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Dr. Tengfei Wang is currently an Economic Affairs Officer at UNESCAP. Prior to February 2008 when he joined the UNESCAP, he was a Senior Lecturer in Transport/Logistics/Supply Chain Management at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. He is the author or coauthor of a book and over 30 published peer-reviewed research papers and acted as the chairman of International Association of Maritime Economists 2008 annual conference. Dr Wang was the winner of PhD competition (2002-2005), The 'Palgrave Macmillan' Prize in Maritime Economics and Logistics. The award is for the best PhD thesis successfully defended during 2002-2005 in the field of maritime economics and logistics, as determined by an international jury comprising all members of the editorial board of Maritime Economics and Logistics (MEL).

Bryan Tan
Mr. Bryan Tan
Partner, Reed Smith, Singapore
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Bryan is a partner in the firm’s Entertainment & Media Group. Bryan has over 20 years’ experience focussing on transactional, regulatory and legislative work across the ASEAN and Asia-Pacific countries. Bryan also has extensive experience advising on venture capital investments into fast-growing technology companies, crypto currency projects including funds, exchanges and international consortiums, as well as cyber security, data protection and trade facilitation matters. Bryan’s client base comprises a broad range of industries across the TMT sector including video games, fin-tech, VC funds, healthcare, telecoms and technology as well as governments.

Alvin Mah
Mr. Alvin Mah
UNNExT Expert
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Mr. Mah Choong Kean (also known as Alvin C K Mah) is a member of the expert team for the United Nations Network of Experts in Paperless Trade (UNNeXT) for Single Window Masterplanning and Public Private Partnerships. Alvin is a seasoned and well-established Single Window expert in the Customs and Trade industry and with more than 20 years of deep knowledge and exposure particularly with the ASEAN region, South Asia region and Central Asia region. His expertise and experience include economic and sectorial ananlysis (eg. study, research, analysis, design, conceptualisation and policy recommendation, design change management and capacity building plans, business process re-engineering, etc) with respect to National Trade Facilitation Blueprinting for the Government of Myanmar, National Customs Management Services Blueprinting for Government of Syria, E-Commerce Services Blueprinting for Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam, ASEAN Single Window Preparedness Survey for ASEAN Member States, Inter-Agency Task Force for ASEAN Single Window, TEDI Japan (Trade EDI) ASEAN Project for Documentation Exchange (e-ASEAN Project), Gazelle Project (ICF) Africa – Asia Inter-Regional Single Window, CEPT (Common Effective Preferential Tariff) Form D Information Exchange Prototype, Project between Thailand and Malaysia, and Cross Border Exchange Project (supply chain and trade documents information exchange between service providers in East Asia). Currently, Alvin is on assignment with UNESCAP on technical readiness for paperless trade and cross border data exchange. This assignment focuses on the e-trade facilitation facilities like single window, for the countries of Mongolia, Myanmar, Armenia and Uzbekistan. 

 

Jonathan Soriano
Mr. Jonathan Soriano
Director, Philippine Bureau of Customs
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Mr. Jonathan T. Soriano is an IT practitioner for 27 years. He is currently the OIC-Director of the Technology Management Service (TMS) - Management Information Systems and Technology Group (MISTG) of the Bureau of Customs.

The BOC-MISTG handles the computerization program of the Bureau of Customs to ensure its proper implementation and continuous progress.

As the OIC-Director of the Technology Management Service (TMS), Mr. Soriano manages the BOC’s primary IT infrastructures such as networks, servers, database management, private and public cloud and cyber security and anti-malware.

In support to trade facilitation, Director Soriano plays vital roles as the Philippine National Project Manager and Head of Delegation to the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) related meetings, Primary Representative to the WCO Data Model and Cross-Border Paperless Trade discussions, and Vice-Chair  of the Philippine Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFC) – Compliance Monitoring Working Group.

Ms. Leonila Guglya
Ms. Leonila Guglya
ESCAP Consultant
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Dr. Leonila GUGLYA is a counsel leading the International Trade / WTO Law Practice of SwissLegal Rouiller et Associés office in Geneva. She holds a Ph.D. in international trade law from the University of Geneva (2017) and an SJD in international arbitration from Central European University (2010), both summa cum laude.

Dr. Guglya gained a robust experience in international trade law and policy, international business law and international dispute resolution, having advised private entities and governments within the framework of varied programmes and initiatives. Her latest mandates focus on trade-related aspects of e-commerce, trade facilitation and paperless trade on all – multilateral (WTO), plurilateral (WTO Joint Statement Initiatives (on E-commerce and others), regional (notably, ASEAN, UEMOA, the RCEP) and national levels (varied jurisdictions in South-East Asia, South Asia, West Africa, and the Pacific, including the recent ESCAP Paperless Trade Readiness Assessment of Lao PDR (2022) and ongoing UNCTAD E-trade Readiness Assessment of Mongolia); on the assistance in the other ongoing WTO negotiations, WTO Trade Policy Reviews / RTA transparency exercises, and accessions; as well as on ensuring the  implementation of the international and regional trade-related commitments nationally / their streamlining into national laws and strategies.

After starting her career as an in-house lawyer in Ukraine, she has worked with several international law firms, international organizations (WTO, UN ESCAP, UNCTAD, the ITC and the CoE) and NGOs, and had various of academic engagements in the different corners of the world. She regularly publishes and intervenes in the areas of her expertise.

 

Session 3 - Way forward

Garlan Irawan
Mr. Garlan Irawan
Technical Officer, Trade Facilitation Division, the ASEAN Secretariat
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for more information, please contact

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