Asian Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) CEO Meeting held in Manila

October 2023

The 36th CEO Meeting of the Asian Trade Promotion Forum (ATPF) was held in Manila, the Philippines, on Wednesday, October 18, 2023. Approximately 40 participants from 13 of the 23 member countries and regions took part in the meeting and engaged in lively discussions.

The theme of the meeting was "Asia as a Central Hub through Innovation and Creativity," which was approved at the Working Level Meeting in July 2023. A series of presentations were delivered from ATPF members, followed by a round-table discussion on how to promote further collaboration among member organizations. Specifically, there were two main themes, “Entrepreneurship and Startups" and "Unleashing Cross-Border Potential through Creative Industries" both of which are expected to play a key role in making Asia a thriving trade hub.

Group photo

Presentation and discussion

High Hope for the Future of Innovation and creativity

As the host of the meeting, CITEM Executive Director Fereira noted the important role and impact that innovation and creativity have on socioeconomic development. In addition, he reiterated the significance of the ATPF as a place where member institutions can share their experiences and create connections that can drive innovation and progress.

In the first session, "Entrepreneurship and Startups," JETRO, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC) discussed main challenges faced by startups and entrepreneurs, and how they are supporting the startups. In particular, JETRO Chairman Ishiguro stated that it is of much importance for trade promotion organizations to support innovation and social value by helping startups and entrepreneurs connect with the overseas market, companies and investors. The "Global Acceleration Hub" and "J-Bridge" were introduced as JETRO’s initiative for encouraging vibrant startups and promoting open innovation.

In the second session, "Unleashing Cross-Border Potential through Creative Industries" the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) touched on the current state of each country’s creative industries and presented their projects to support local business in adding value to their products in the global market.

The CEO Meeting was a great success, with each organization exchanging candid ideas and sharing their experiences and best practices. On the following day, CITEM organized a site visit to Manila FameExternal site: a new window will open, one of the largest design trade fairs in the Philippines, providing an opportunity to learn first-hand how CITEM nurtures the talent and workmanship of the Filipino creative industry.

Presentation by Chairman Ishiguro

Remarks by Dr. Fereira, CITEM Executive Director

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 18, 2023
Venue Manila, Philippines
Participant organizations
  • Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM)
  • Department of International Trade Promotion of Thailand (DITP)
  • Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG)
  • General Directorate of Trade Promotion (GDTP)
  • Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
  • India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO)
  • Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
  • Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)
  • Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)
  • Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization (MYANTRADE)
  • Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP)
  • Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC)
  • Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE)
* Listed in alphabetical order of abbreviations