The 33rd ATPF CEO Meeting held online for the first time

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.

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.

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: IPIM, JETRO, Department of International Trade Promotion of Thailand (DITP) and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) 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.

The theme of the second session was "Assisting SMEs to enhance competitiveness." In this session, three TPOs: 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.

Date September 24, 2020
Venue Online
Article JETRO
First online ATPF CEO Meeting (English)
First online ATPF CEO Meeting (Japanese)