Dr Deborah Elms, Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre. The Asian Trade Centre works with governments and companies to design better trade policies for the region. Dr. Elms is also Vice Chair of the Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA) and sits on the International Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance and is Chair of the Working Group on Trade Policy and Law. She is also a senior fellow in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Trade Academy. Previously, Dr Elms was head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations (TFCTN) and Senior Fellow of International Political Economy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her projects include the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and global value chains. Dr. Elms received a PhD in political science from the University of Washington, a MA in international relations from the University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees from Boston University. Dr Elms publishes the Talking Trade Blog.
Juan Sebastian Cortes-Sanchez is working as a Trade Policy Analyst at the Asian Trade Centre. His areas of focus include the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)—focus on Latin American members—the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Pacific Alliance (PA) and the development of regulatory frameworks within Next Generation Trade issues such as Cybersecurity and Data Privacy. Sebastian obtained a Honours Bachelors Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Yale-NUS College - Singapore. Prior to ATC, Sebastian had experience conducting due diligence and investigative research assignments at BlackPeak Group and supporting business development efforts at the Latin American Chamber of Commerce. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
Alex Capri, Senior Fellow at the Asian Trade Centre. Alex is a Senior Fellow and full‐time lecturer in the Business School at the National University of Singapore. Alex also lectures in the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. From 2007‐2012, Alex was the Partner and Regional Leader of KPMG’s International Trade & Customs Practice in Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong.
Alex has over 20 years of experience in global value chains, logistics and international trade‐‐ both as an academic and a professional consultant He has advised clients on cross‐border projects in more than 40 countries and he has worked in some of the most challenging regulatory environments in the world. He has worked extensively in emerging economies on projects involving micro and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), particularly with the aim of developing and enabling entrepreneurs in local export markets (both products and services). Alex has assisted MSMEs with mobile financial services, peer‐to‐peer lending scenarios, AI and e‐commerce strategies.
Alex has been a panellist and workshop leader for the World Economic Forum, on the topic of inclusive capitalism and SMEs in emerging economies. He holds a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, in International Political Economy. He holds a B.Sc. in International Relations, from the University of Southern California.
Juanita Woodward, Senior Fellow at the Asian Trade Centre. Juanita leads a boutique consultancy, Connecting the Dots in Singapore, which provides consultancy, market research, and project management services in the area of Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion. She has held various regional and global roles at Citibank, ABN AMRO and Standard Chartered Bank in Global Transaction Services based in Singapore, and served as the Executive Director, Asia Pacific for Eurogiro A/S, an international low-value payments network. Based in Singapore since 1991, Ms Woodward has over 30 years of global experience in the financial services and payments industry working across 17 countries in Asia Pacific, as well as work in the US, Europe, and South America. She has extensive work experience in the area of financial inclusion, migrant worker remittance payments, and corporate/consumer payments including card and mobile solutions. In 2015, Ms Woodward chaired the Financial Inclusion stream at the 2015 Global Payments Summit in Singapore. Ms Woodward is an Advisor to FinTech companies that focus on Financial Inclusion and SME growth solutions. She is a Fintech Fellow at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, and currently serves on the UNCDF SHIFT (Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations) Challenge Fund Facility Investment Committee providing financial market facilitation, technical assistance and a funding facility for the ASEAN region. She previously served on the World Bank’s Public and Private sector advisory group on Migrant Worker Remittances.
Margaret Liang joined ATC as a Senior Fellow in 2015. She is currently Consultant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for WTO/Trade Issues; Adjunct Professor of the National University of Singapore Law Faculty; Senior Adjunct Fellow of the Rajaratnam School of International Relations, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, and Senior Fellow of the MFA Diplomatic Academy. Previously, she served as Director (Trade Policy) of the Singapore Trade Development Board and subsequently as Director of the International Economics Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has served in Singapore Missions in Bonn and in Geneva, and was Singapore’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN/WTO in Geneva from 1999-2002. Ms Liang has considerable experience in international trade law cases before the GATT/WTO, both as advocate and panelist/Chairman. She was member of the Singapore team in the WTO dispute settlement case on Singapore/Malaysia-Import measures on certain petrochemical products. Her other key WTO appointments included being Chairman of the WTO Working Party on the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement (the Coutonou Agreement) in 2001 and Vice-Chairman of the WTO Committee on Regional Trade Agreements in 2002. She has contributed to major academic/WTO seminars and conducted WTO Trade Policy courses at the International Development Law Organisation, Sydney, the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade Negotiations, Singapore, and under Singapore’s Technical assistance programmes for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and other Developing Countries. She was also the Academic Coordinator for the WTO Regional Trade Policy Course, for Asia- Pacific, a joint cooperation between the WTO and the National University of Singapore from 2008-2010.
Dr Patrick Low, Senior Fellow, directs, undertakes and leads research into global supply chains, international trade and global governance. He was the Chief Economist at the World Trade Organization since its creation in 1995, having previously worked at the GATT Secretariat, from 1980 to 1987. After joining the WTO, he worked on trade in services for two years before his appointment as Chief Economist in 1997. From 1999 to 2000 he served as WTO Director-General Mike Moore’s Chief of Staff, after which he returned to his previous post as Chief Economist. Between leaving the GATT and joining the WTO, Dr Low taught economics at El Colegio de México in Mexico City, from 1987 to 1990, and during this time worked as a consultant for a range of governments and inter-governmental institutions. From 1990 to 1994 he worked as a senior economist in the World Bank’s research complex (International Trade Division). His main areas of research at the Bank were trade policy, trade and the environment, fiscal policy and customs reform. Dr Low is also an Adjunct Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. He teaches two courses there, one on trade theory and the theory of trade policy, and the other on the economics of the environment, trade and climate change. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Kent and a PhD in Economics from Sussex University, both in the UK, and has written widely on a range of trade policy issues.
Russell Scoular, Senior Fellow at the Asian Trade Centre. Russell is a highly-knowledgeable business executive with extensive experience in the global automotive industry, trade policy and industry engagement with governments. Prior to his founding of Chatto Creek Advisory, Russell spent 32 years in senior management positions with the Ford Motor Company in New Zealand, Australia and China. He used to serve as the regional director of government affairs for Asia Pacific at Ford. In a 32-year automotive industry career specializing in government, trade and public policy issues, Russell served as vice president of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries 2003-2006 and chaired the chamber's government policy advisory committee from 2006-2011. He has also served as chair of the City of Hume's Economic Development Committee. In his senior leadership positions, Russell has attended and presented papers at a number of parliamentary inquiries and in international forums including APEC Automotive Dialogues, Trans-Pacific Partnership Stakeholder Forums, Amcham Forums in China and CO2 Conferences in Thailand. Russell is a graduate of Monash University with a Master of Public Policy and Management degree.
Dr Toh See Kiat joined the Asian Trade Centre as a Senior Fellow in 2018. Dr Toh is currently the Global Chairman of Goodwins Law Corporation based in Singapore. He graduated with an LLB (Hons) Degree from the National University of Singapore in 1982 and was admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor in Singapore in 1983. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Law from Harvard University in 1986 and in 1991, he was awarded a PhD in Law by the University of London where he did his doctoral thesis in electronic commerce. He has also been admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales. Dr Toh’s practice is in the areas of Corporate, Commercial, Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce Law. He has been engaged by a wide range of corporate/ commercial clients, industry bodies, and government agencies, including the Dubai Internet City , the Dubai Port Authority, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Planning and the Abu Dhabi Information and Systems Centre. Dr Toh is also highly sought after in legislation drafting, having drafted legislation for Abu Dhabi and Dubai. As Asian Development Bank consultant, he advised the National Assembly of Vietnam on the introduction of eCommerce Laws (2005). He has also advised the Vietnam Customs under a World Bank consultancy (2008). Dr Toh has been actively involved in national matters, having served as a Member of Parliament and also as Chairman of Aljunied Town Council, a municipality with a population in excess of 100,000 households. He was President of the Consumers Association of Singapore and was a member of national bodies such as the National Trust Council. In addition, Dr Toh sits on the board of several companies, both private and publicly listed. An accomplished academic, Dr Toh has been a Professor at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore and Tyndale University College Canada. He still teaches graduate level courses at the NTU as an external lecturer.
Andrew Crosby joined the Asian Trade Centre as a Fellow in March 2019. Andrew Crosby works with global policy stakeholders in understanding the emerging dynamics and policy responses for growth and sustainability brought about by digitization, servicification, intangible assets, and advanced communications. His work has focused on enabling, facilitating, and supporting global and regional policymakers in generating responsive trade and investment policies that enable them to pursue sustainability and competitiveness demands while adapting to changing structures of production and trade. As the founding Programmes Director and later Managing Director at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development he contributed to forming ICTSD’s globally recognized, high-impact programmes, particularly in leading the organization’s work in ecommerce, innovation and IP, trade in services, and co-leading on inclusive economic transformation and G20 and global governance. He also led ICTSD’s communications, including the widely acclaimed Bridges series of publications. Previously, he was the founding employee of the American Political Network which launched the first national daily political news service in the United States, the HOTLINE, in 1987 and later worked as a strategic consultant for political and corporate strategy. He is a graduate of the Harvard, John F. Kennedy School of Government (Master in Public Administration, 1996) and New York University (Bachelor of Arts, 1985). He is a citizen of the USA and currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland.