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Briefing “Using CPTPP as Non-Member”
Time: 10AM – 12PM (registration starts at 9.45)
Date: 28 May 2019

With the CPTPP entry into force, member countries like Vietnam have reported positive export growth as more firms are taking advantage of the deal. While a few CPTPP signatories are still examining the costs and benefits
of ratifying CPTPP (like Malaysia), other countries have already lined up their application to be a part of the deal (Colombia, Thailand). Although this shows positive signs that more countries have recognized the importance of CPTPP, it will take a considerable amount of time until CPTPP happens outside the 11 signatories. This is even more challenging for countries whose standards are way behind CPTPP’s standards or for countries that are not domestically prepared to have more liberal trade policies.

So the key questions are:
• What can firms do if they are non-member? and
• How can non-member firms navigate CPTPP?

The Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA) will be hosting a CPTPP briefing on 28 May to address these two above questions. This briefing will be the first inter-chamber event between the ABTA and British Chamber of Commerce, European Chamber of Commerce and Latin American Chamber of Commerce! The event will bring together members of these four trade groups to talk about how to use CPTPP as non-member.

The briefing will be led by two of the most prestigious CPTPP experts in Singapore, Dr. Deborah Elms and Mr. Steve Okun.

09.45AM-10.00AM: Registration
10.00AM-10.15AM: Welcoming speech, Mr. Steve Okun, President of the Asia Business Trade Association
10.15AM-11.30AM: Using CPTPP as Non-Member, Dr. Deborah Elms, Vice-chair of the Asia Business Trade Association
11.30AM-12.00PM: Q&A


Steven Okun, President, Asia Business Trade Association

Prior to joining ABTA, Steven used to work at KKR as Director of Asia Public Affairs and UPS Asia’s public affairs. Steven’s expertise encompasses business, government, environmental, social and governance issues, media and NGOs. He has been in the center of some of the region’s most impactful public and private sector policies, debates and events, including helping lead the business community’s call for the US to enter the TPP negotiations, and then for the TPP-11 to come into effect post-US withdrawal. He was elected three terms each as Chairman of AmCham Singapore and the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC), and served on the Council of the Singapore Business Federation and of the Australian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association Limited (AVCAL). Steven served in the Administration of President Bill Clinton as Deputy General Counsel at the US Department of Transportation. For his public service, he was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Special Service Commendation. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Dr. Deborah Elms, Executive Director, Asia Business Trade Association

Dr. Deborah Elms is the Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre (ATC). She is Vice Chair of the Advisory Board for the Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA), Co-Chair of the Trade Policy Committee of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA), and 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. 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.

To register for this briefing, please fill up this form or email us at minhhue@asiantradecentre.org for any enquiries.