FTA Symposium 2019

20 Years of Free Trade Agreements


Wednesday, 23rd October 2019

9.30 AM to 5.00 PM

Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

FTA Symposium 2019

Themed “20 Years of Free Trade Agreements”, the FTA Symposium marks the 20th anniversary of the inception of Singapore’s FTA strategy, which began in 1999 with the negotiation of a comprehensive free trade agreement with New Zealand.

Gain insights from speakers and panellists on how to weather today’s global economic storm, navigate the digital marketplace, and take advantage of the opportunity FTAs provide to keep ahead in this period of rising protectionism and growing trade tensions.

Network with business leaders, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and government officials – across trade, investments, and the digital space – and explore the diverse opportunities that FTAs provide and the business case for going global.

Reserve your seat now


FTA Symposium 2019: What’s in it for you?

Learn Best Cases of FTA Implementation

Hear first-hand from companies that have tapped successfully on the FTAs to expand their businesses overseas. Find out more about the Tariff Finder to help you grow your exports.

Develop Your FTA Strategy to Grow Your Business

This symposium will shed some light on how to weather the global economic tensions and how you can navigate the digital marketplaces with a sound FTA strategy. Discover how you can use FTAs to help you expand your business.

Capture More Business Opportunities

You will be able to build your network with other business leaders, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and government officials in this symposium.

Keynote Speaker

S Iswaran

Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations

Mr. S. Iswaran is currently the Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. He has been elected as a Member of Parliament in five general elections since 1997. Prior to his cabinet appointment, he has served on several Ministries and Government Parliamentary Committees, and as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. He attended the University of Adelaide graduating with first-class honours and holds a Master in Public Administration degree from Harvard University.

Distinguished CEO Speaker

Gan Seow Kee

Chairman & Managing Director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd

Mr Gan Seow Kee is the Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific. In his 40 years with ExxonMobil, he has held various positions in manufacturing, business, planning, and finance in Singapore and the United States. He received a Medal of Commendation (Gold) at the May Day Awards 2017 for facilitating greater cooperation and commitment towards improving labour relations, and was conferred the NUS Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award 2018 for his contributions to the profession and industry. Outside of the company, Mr Gan Seow Kee is the Vice Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation and Board Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering with honours from the National University of Singapore, and is a Fellow with the United Kingdom Institute of Chartered Management Accountants.


Christopher Ong

Senior Vice President and Managing Director
DHL Express Singapore

James Chang

Lazada Singapore

Song Seng Wun

CIMB Private Banking

Gabriel Lim

Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)

Frank Debets

Managing Partner
PwC Worldtrade Management Services

Ho Meng Kit

Singapore Business Federation (SBF)

See All Speakers


23 October 2019

Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
09:30 - 10:30
Registration & Morning Tea Break
10:30 - 10:40
Opening Remarks

S.S. Teo

Chairman – Singapore Business Federation
10:40 - 11:00
Keynote Speech

Mr S Iswaran

Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations
11:00 - 11:10
Video on 20 Years of Free Trade Agreements
11:10 - 12:10
Session 1 - Weathering Today’s Global Economic Storm

We face a challenging external environment today. Weaker global demand, the ongoing US-China trade conflict and the downturn in the global electronics cycle are expected to lead to a slowdown in global trade this year. Protectionist economics, which has become more prevalent, is threatening to fragment the current rules-based multilateral trading system. Amidst an increasingly complex and volatile international geopolitical and economic environment, Singapore continues to be committed to free trade and forge economic partnerships. Learn about ways you can tap on Singapore’s FTA network to weather today’s global economic storm.

12:10 - 14:00
Networking Luncheon
14:00 - 14:15
CEO Speech - Venturing from Singapore In An Uncertain World

Gan Seow Kee

Chairman and Managing Director – ExxonMobil Asia Pacific
14:15 - 15:15
Session 2 – Navigating the Digital Marketplace

The digital economy holds tremendous potential. With 630 million people, a growing middle class and rising internet penetration, Southeast Asia’s digital market is estimated to exceed US$200 billion by 2024. Digitalisation enables small countries like Singapore to transcend our size and geography, and helps enterprises penetrate new markets. Find out more about how you can succeed in the digital economy and explore new possibilities through Singapore’s upcoming Digital Economy Agreements (DEAs).

15:15 - 15.45
Networking Tea Break (with Enterprise Singapore’s Tariff Finder Booth)
15.45 - 17:00
Session 3 – Leveraging FTAs: Opportunity for All, Including SMEs

Singapore currently has 24 FTAs with 36 trading partners. Once the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement comes into force, we will have partnerships with economies that account for more than 85% of global GDP. Our partners include large economies like the US, China, and Japan, as well as high-growth markets such as ASEAN and India. Beyond market access benefits, FTAs establish a regulatory framework that provides certainty for businesses. Understand how you can leverage Singapore’s FTAs to grow and compete globally and find out what assistance is available for companies, including SMEs, to tap on them.

End of Programme

Reserve your seat now

Registration is now closed.

Please note that on-site registrations are strictly not allowed. If you are interested to attend, please email us at enquiries@ftasymposium.sg, and include the following information for every participant.

  • Full Name
  • Company Name
  • Contact Number
  • Job Title

Please note that email registrations will close on 21st October 2019 (Mon), 3 PM. All registrations received thereafter will not be accepted.

Thank You.