Reshaping Trade: The Rise of Asia and Next Generation ChallengesVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Report Launch Event
Over the last seventy years, global trade flows have grown to an unprecedented level, reaching nearly $30 trillion in 2021. The Asia Pacific region has been central to this remarkable growth, with trade volumes nearly quadrupling in the last twenty years. Asian countries view trade as a critical tool to grow their economies, strengthen supply chain resiliency, create jobs, foster development, attract foreign direct investment, and promote innovation. As a result, they have been on the forefront of negotiating trade deals, both in regional groupings and on a bilateral basis.
Over time, forging new trade deals has become more challenging. The future of the rules-based trading system will be determined by its ability to address next generation challenges, including digital trade, climate change, economic inclusion, economic security, and non-market economic practices. Trade agreements are likely to look inherently different going forward, and governments that are nimble in adapting to this new landscape will be the most successful. As a hub for trade activity, Asia is well poised to play a critical role.
A new Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) report, The Evolution of the Global Trading System: How the Rise of Asia and Next Generation Challenges Will Shape the Future Economy, from ASPI's Shay Wester and Wendy Cutler, examines the past and future trade landscape with a focus on developments in Asia.
The report will be the focus of an upcoming ASPI webinar. ASPI Vice President Wendy Cutler will open with an overview of the report's findings, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Candi Wolff, Managing Director, Global Government Affairs at Citi, and featuring Tim Groser, former New Zealand Ambassador to the U.S. and Minister of Trade; Yeo Han-koo, ASPI Distinguished Fellow and former Korean Trade Minister; Elizabeth Chelliah, Principal Trade Specialist, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore; and Kurt Tong, Asia Group Managing Partner.
This event is made possible through the generous support of Citi.
Wendy Cutler is Vice President at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Managing Director of the Washington, D.C. office. She joined ASPI following an illustrious career of nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). During her USTR career, she worked on a range of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations and initiatives, including the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S.-China negotiations, and the WTO Financial Services negotiations. Since joining ASPI, she has published a series of ASPI papers on the Asian trade landscape.
Hon. Tim Groser served as New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States from 2016-18. Prior to that role, Mr. Groser served as New Zealand’s Minister of Trade, Climate Change Issues, and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2008-15. He has also served as New Zealand’s Ambassador to the WTO, Chair of Agricultural Negotiations for the WTO, and Ambassador to Indonesia.
Yeo Han-koo is a non-resident Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute. Yeo capped off almost three decades of public service as Trade Minister of the Republic of Korea in the final year of the Moon Jae-in presidency. A veteran international trade negotiator and policy-making practitioner, he was involved in many bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations as chief negotiator for CPTPP, RCEP, Korea-U.K. FTA, Korea-Central America FTA, Korea-Indonesia CEPA, Korea-the Philippines FTA and participated in developing IPEF from the start.
Elizabeth Chelliah is currently the Principal Trade Specialist (PTS) at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). Elizabeth has covered a range of portfolios over her 27 years in service. This includes WTO issues commencing from her posting to Singapore’s Trade Mission in Geneva from 1998 in 2002, including WTO DSB panel participation, involvement at APEC from 2005 to 2011 during which she was also held the post of Chair of the Committee for Trade and Investment (CTI) from 2008-2010. She has had extensive involvement in FTA negotiations since 2002 the last engagement being Chair of the RCEP Intellectual Property Working Group. From March 2020, Elizabeth has also taken on a consultancy role at Singapore Business Federation guiding SBF on FTA outreach and training for business based in Singapore.
Ambassador Kurt Tong is Managing Partner at The Asia Group, where he leads consulting teams focused on Japan, China, and Hong Kong, and East Asia regional policy matters. Ambassador Tong brings thirty years of experience in the Department of State, where he served as Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau. In addition, he has served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and as U.S. Ambassador for APEC.
Candida “Candi” Wolff (Moderator) is Managing Director and Citi’s Head of Global Government Affairs. She is responsible for the company’s government affairs globally, including U.S. Federal, U.S. State, and international government relations. Prior to joining Citi in May 2011, Ms. Wolff was a partner in the Legislative and Policy Practice at the law firm of Hogan Lovells. Her private-sector experience also includes time as a partner at Washington Council Ernst & Young and as an Associate in the Public Policy and Law section of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. Ms. Wolff has more than 20 years of government relations experience in key public and private sector positions. Most notably, from January 2005 to December 2007, she served in the White House as the Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs – the first female to have ever held this position.