March 12, 2018

OECD Investment Policy Review of Southeast Asia

The report builds on national reviews of seven countries in Southeast Asia. It looks at common challenges across the region and at the interplay between regional initiatives and national reforms. It allows for a discussion of more thematic issues than are usually considered in the country-level reviews, including the possible role of regional initiatives in driving reform.


December 6, 2017

Conference: Digital Trade in the Asia-Pacific – Identifying Challenges, Seeking Solutions

This conference, jointly organised by Melbourne Law School and Singapore Management University School of Law on 6 December 2017 in Singapore is aimed at engaging in a deep, transparent, and multi-stakeholder dialogue on issues relevant to digital trade and collectively seek solutions for these complex policy issues. The conference is organised around the following four broad themes:
(a) Identifying and defining policy challenges and opportunities in digital trade
(b) The role of International Trade Agreements in boosting the digital economy
(c) How trade rules can boost digital innovation
(d) Potential solutions within national, regional or international legal and policy frameworks to address contemporary challenges in digital trade

Deborah Elms from Asian Trade Centre will be speaking at this conference.

November 2017

ASEAN signs free trade, investment pacts with Hong Kong. Read more on ChannelsNewsAsia and Nikkei Asia Review.

October 2017

GTPA is looking for volunteers to advance the professionalization of global trade. Find out more here.

September 2017

New Trade Helpdesk launched for businesses looking to export to the EU

Click here to view.

EU-Indonesia FTA

European Commission published report and text proposals following third negotiation round with Indonesia. Click here.

August 2017

TPP11 gets endorsement from American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore

AmCham Singapore issued a statement on August 25 urging the eleven members of the TPP to reach a successful conclusion to ongoing deliberations and implement this high-standard agreement as soon as possible.  AmCham Singapore believes the TPP as negotiated provides the foundation for implementing the high standards needed to further economic growth and development in the Asia-Pacific region and represents the future of sustainable international trade.

To read on CNBC, click here

August 2017

USTR - Initiation of Section 301 Investigation; Hearing; and Request for Public Comments: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has initiated an investigation pursuant to section 302(b)(1)(A) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the Trade Act), to determine whether acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China related to
technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are actionable under section 301(b)(1) of the Trade Act. The inter-agency Section 301 Committee is holding a public hearing and seeking comments in connection with this investigation.

Deadline for written comments and requests is on September 28. Public hearing will be held on October 10.

August 2017

USTR - Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets: Comment Request

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requests written comments that identify online and physical markets based outside the United States that should be included in the 2017 Notorious Markets List (List). Conducted under the auspices of the Special 301 program, the List identifies online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. In 2010, USTR began publishing the Notorious Markets List separately from the annual Special 301 Report as an “Out-of-Cycle Review.” Deadline of written comments is October 2.

August 2017

Canada-Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement

Canadian Government welcomes public consultation on a possible FTA between Canada and the Pacific Alliance

July 2017

Parliament of Australia Responds to Trans-Pacific Partnership

Australian Government Response to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Report: Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement—Government response, dated May 2017, presented 6 July 2017

July 2017

ASEAN Economic Integration Brief to provide regular updates on ASEAN economic integration progress and outcomes. 
Full brief here

Key takeaways from this issue:

On trade facilitation
- ASEAN Economic Ministers adopted ASEAN Trade Facilitation Framework in 2016
- At their 23rd Retreat in March 2017, they set the target to reduce 10% of trade transaction costs by 2020

- Entry into force of WTO TFA in February 2017 has provided additional impetus for ASEAN to pursue trade facilitation initiatives

- Web-based platforms have been put in place to support trade facilitation
- ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR) is one-stop online database on ASEAN trade- and customs-related information where the public can also access information available on National Trade Repositories of each ASEAN member state
- Linked to ATR is the ASEAN Tariff Finder, a cost-free search engine for tariff and tariff related information under ASEAN and ASEAN Plus 1 FTAs

- ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST) is now fully operational, a non-binding and consultative mechanism for the expedited and effective solution of operational problems encountered by ASEAN-based enterprises on cross-border issues related to the implementation of ASEAN economic agreements

On e-commerce
- Recently established the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Electronic Commerce (ACCEC) and is in the process of finalising the ASEAN Work Programme on e-Commerce

On FTAs with other countries/ regions
- Negotiations of ASEAN-Hong Kong, China FTA are on track towards targeted conclusion this year
- Formal talks on framework to set out parameters for future ASEAN-EU FTA have been launched
- ASEAN remains committed to swift conclusion of RCEP

July 2017

Northern Light

Dr Elms in Helsinki this week spoke on the role of China in the EU and World trade at the European Business Leader's Association (EBLC)'s 'Northern Light' Conference 2017.

June 2017

RCEP Increases The Need For Trade Automation

Thomson Reuters published white paper on how trade automation can enable firms to effectively utilise FTAs such as RCEP. Click here to download the paper.

June 2017

USTR opens public consultation for comments on executive order to review trade violations

USTR and Commerce are seeking input on the performance of individual free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties.

Submissions due on July 31. Click here for more information.

June 2017

RCEP Increases The Need For Trade Automation

Thomson Reuters published white paper on how trade automation can enable firms to effectively utilise FTAs such as RCEP. Click here to download the paper.

June 2017

The International Trade Centre Survey

The International Trade Centre (ITC – is doing an international survey to better understand the challenges faced by enterprises when doing e‑commerce to help shape the environment enterprises need to be successful online.

We would like to invite your company to share its views. Please use this link to provide your answers: We kindly request you to submit them until Monday 3 July 2017. Your answers will remain anonymous. With your participation, you will contribute to making cross-border e-commerce easier. The results of the survey will be disseminated to the responding companies. If you have questions or comments, you are most welcome to contact ITC at ITC is an agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) strengthen their international competitiveness and trade better


The Art of the Trade Deal - Quantifying the Benefits of a TPP without the US

A quantitative analysis on TPP Benefits without the US. Written by Carlo Dade, Dan Ciuriak, Ali Dadkhah & Jingliang Xiao. Click here to read the report.

29 May 2017

New discussion papers for stakeholders on Investment and Electronic Commerce

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would welcome further submissions responding to new discussion papers on investment and electronic commerce in RCEP. These can be sent to For more information please click here.


05 June 2017

Singapore IRAS issued a public consultation on GST for e-commerce low value goods and digital trade, published on 9 May 2017

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has issued a consulting document on the implementation of Goods and Service Tax for e-commerce with regards to low value goods and digital trade. Read more.


01 June 2017

Raymon Krishnan joined the Asian Trade Centre as Director for Corporate Advisory on June 1, 2017

Raymon has had over twenty years of experience in the Logistics industry as an end user and service provider. Currently, he is also the President of The Logistics & Supply Chain Management Society.

Raymon’s experience covers the full Logistics spectrum, from raw material procurement to physical distribution and eventually Customer Service and care, with a strong grounding in Quality and Six Sigma. His last commercial role was as Global Commercial Director for APL Logistics. Prior to this role, he was responsible for Asia Pacific Logistics & Trade Compliance for W R Grace Inc where was responsible for Inbound and Outbound Logistics, Trade Compliance and Warehousing for the 67 GRACE manufacturing sites and offices in the Asia Pacific region.

He holds a degree in Logistics from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Master of International Business from the University of Wollongong.

Raymon is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and The Australian Logistics Academy, an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and was an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wollongong - where he was responsible for teaching and representing the interests of the University in the region. He has also been the Programme Director for the University of Wales, Masters in Supply Chain Management offered in Singapore.

Raymon is excited to be advancing international trade at the Asian Trade Centre. His wealth of experience in logistics and supply chain management will increase the ability of the Asian Trade Centre to provide businesses with advisory and training on their capacity to harness the benefits of both multilateral trade agreements such as RCEP (Regional Comprehensive and Economic Partnership), TPP11 (Trans-Pacific Partnership without the US), but also bilaterals agreements in Asia.

At the Asian Trade Centre, Raymon is in charge of the supply chain diagnosis, supply chain strategy and network design.