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First online CEO Meeting of Asia Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF)

September 2020

On September 24, the CEO Meeting of the Asia Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) was held online for the first time since the forum’s establishment. It was joined by 60 people from 21 of 23 member countries and regions, and JETRO Chairman and CEO SASAKI Nobuhiko played the role of co-chair alongside President Benson Lau of the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), the organizer of this year's meeting.

Survey to learn of activities conducted by TPOs under the corona crisis

At the beginning of the plenary session, in his opening remarks as co-chair, President Benson Lau stated as follows: "COVID-19 has significantly changed our way of life, our way of communication and our way of doing business. Digital technology is becoming more important than ever. It is necessary for TPOs to work together by using digital technology and innovative ideas." He emphasized the importance of promoting digitalization for client services and further strengthening the cooperative relationship between ATPF members.

The ATPF Secretariat, JETRO, reported the results of a survey jointly conducted with the organizer, the IPIM. This was implemented to know how companies' needs and the projects of TPOs have changed in each country and region in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and how each TPO is dealing with those changes. The results revealed that each TPO has been promoting digitalization of client services such as in holding seminars and business matching events online.

Online meeting

IPIM President Benson Lau

Presentation by ATPF Secretariat

"Digitalization" has come up for discussion

The plenary meeting was separated into two sessions. In the first session, discussions were made under the theme of "Innovation on trade and investment promotion (Initiatives taken by TPOs toward digitalization in response to the Covid-19 outbreak).” Four TPOs, including the IPIM and JETRO, individually introduced their most successful practices for digitalization under the corona crisis, the efforts they made to improve services and how they have been conducting projects for promoting trade and investment online. At the question-and-answer session, numerous questions were asked about the practices explained by the presenters.

JETRO Chairman and CEO Sasaki

HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Chau

Efforts made to support SMEs by leveraging digital technology shared

The theme of the second session was "Assisting SMEs to enhance competitiveness." In this session, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) individually introduced their own measures to support SMEs by utilizing digital technology. Amidst the circumstances where conventional support measures are not enough to cover SMEs due to Covid-19, mutually beneficial efforts by TPOs were shared from the perspective of providing support with digital technology.

(About ATPF)
The ATPF was established in 1987 at the proposal of JETRO. The objective of the forum is for Asian TPOs to effectively implement activities in each member country and region through the free exchange of ideas. There are currently 23 member TPOs, and CEO Meetings and Working Level Meetings are held once a year.
For more information on ATPF, please see the following linkExternal site: a new window will open

Outline of the 33rd Asian Trade Promotion Forum CEO Meeting

Theme The development and innovation of TPOs in the New Era
Date September 24, 2020
Location Online
Organizer Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM)
Participant organizations: Australian Trade Commission (AUSTRADE)
China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)
Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Phillippines
Directorate General of National Export Development (DGNED), Indonesia
Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Thailand
Department of Trade Promotion (DTP), Laos
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh
Enterprise Singapore (ESG)
General Directorate of Trade Promotion (GDTP), Cambodia
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)
Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI)
Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE), Brunei
Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization (MYANTRADE)
Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB)
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP)
Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC)
Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE)
* Listed in alphabetical order