Asian Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) CEO Meeting in Bangladesh

October 2022

The 35th CEO Meeting of the Asian Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Wednesday, October 19, 2022. This was the first face-to-face meeting in the three years since 2019, and approximately 40 participants from 12 of the 23 member countries and regions took part in lively discussions led by the heads of each organization.

The prolonged impact of COVID has drastically changed not only the social life of people, but also the business models required and the mindsets of business people. The ATPF member organizations, which are responsible for promoting trade and investment, are at a critical juncture in their efforts to promote global business development in such an environment. In this situation, this year's conference featured presentations and discussions on new initiatives to support businesses in the post-corona period, human resource development and possibilities for collaboration among member institutions.

Group photo of participants

Presentation by Mr.Sasaki, CEO&Chairman

New discussions for a post-COVID world

The theme was "Challenges and the Way Forward for the TPOs in the New Trade Age”. As the host of the meeting, A.H.M. Ahsan, Vice Chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh, expressed great expectations that the lively discussions that could only take place face-to-face would lead to stronger economic partnerships and increased trade and investment among ATPF member countries and regions. Minister of Commerce Tipu Munshi was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony, where he spoke about Bangladesh's rapid development and attractive business investment environment and noted the important role of the ATPF in the economic development of the Asian region.

JETRO's theme was human resource development, and JETRO Chairman Sasaki Nobuhiko introduced a series of online training sessions extensively concentrated on strategy building for exporting and documentation skills for effective verbal communication for small and medium-sized enterprises, university collaboration and the IDEAS program, based on the idea that one important role of a trade promotion organization is to identify and support the development of human resources needed to keep up with rapidly changing social and business trends.

In addition, the Australian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (AUSTRADE), General Department of Trade Promotion (GDTP) of the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC) and Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) of the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of Thailand introduced their efforts at promoting DX. In comments, participants stated that "various changes are required in order to constantly adapt to new business models," and that "it is important to find a balance between real and online business support for companies in the future.”

The program also included an introduction to Bangladesh's business potential, tourism resources and culture, as well as factory tours and discussions with leading local companies. With the country scheduled to graduate from its status as a Least Developed Country (LDC) in 2026, this was an opportunity to reaffirm its growing attractiveness as a market and manufacturing base.

Remarks by Minister Munshi

The venue

Capacity building also conducted at Working Level Meeting

Prior to the CEO Meeting, a preparatory meeting at the administrative level was held online in July, with approximately 50 participants from 22 countries and regions sharing knowledge and best practices, capacity building measures and other activities.

In the capacity building program, Dr. Venkatachalam Anbumozhi of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) gave an overview of environmental and green policies in Asian countries and spoke on the roles that governments and government agencies are expected to play in promoting green business in the future. In addition, Professor Ishiguro Hiroshi of Osaka University was invited to speak on the new possibilities for intelligent systems such as artificial intelligence and avatars and their impact on the way people work and society, which have changed dramatically due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. For the ATPF member organizations that have been discussing the corona crisis with a focus on digitalization, the event provided an opportunity to take the discussion one step forward in anticipation of a post-COVID world.

Lecture by Dr. Anbumozhi

Lecture by Prof. Ishiguro (Osaka University)

(About the 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 a CEO Meeting and Working Level Meeting are each held once a year.


Date Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Venue Dhaka, Bangladesh
Participant organizations
  • Australian Trade Commission
  • Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions
  • Department of International Trade Promotion of Thailand
  • Export Promotion Bureau
  • Enterprise Singapore
  • General Directorate of Trade Promotion
  • India Trade Promotion Organization
  • Japan External Trade Organization
  • Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency
  • Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation
  • Trade Development Authority of Pakistan
  • Taipei World Trade Center
* Notation is in alphabetical order of institution name abbreviation