Through the years, ASEAN has made significant milestones, such as the trade liberalisation through the removal of intra-regional tariffs. Besides, ASEAN has also adopted frameworks that serve as sound structures and supporting instruments to boost the trade of goods in the region. 

Within ASEAN, the agri-food sector will continue to be a key sector in the foreseeable future. Continuous growth is predicted in the food sector as the total value of sales is projected to rise to USD 164 billion in 2020, as compared to USD 108 billion in 2015. However, the food sector is faced with non-tariff barriers which hinder trade efficiency in the region and the implications could be more significant than tariffs. ASEAN only stands to gain if it accelerates and intensifies its collective efforts to reduce non-tariff barriers.  

Join us as we examine the journey of ASEAN, implications of non-tariff barriers and actions to be taken to pave the way for regional integration with speakers from across Asia. 

Key outcomes:

  • Key non-tariff barriers in the food sector 

  • Success cases of overcoming non-tariff barriers

  • Adoption and implementation of ASEAN frameworks among member states

  • Roles of the public and private sectors to achieve the goals outlined in the ASEAN Economic Community 2025 

Below is the draft programme for the session. 




Registration and Light Refreshments


Welcome and Introductions
Matt Kovac, Executive Director, FIA 


An Insight into the report on “Removing Non-Tariff Barriers in ASEAN through ASEAN Regulatory Convergence and Mutual Recognition in the Food Sector”

Teresa Lo, Assistant Manager, Regulatory Affairs, FIA


Where are we on ASEAN Integration – A Regional Insight
Cuong Ba Tran, Assistant Director, Trade Facilitation Division
Market Integration Directorate, ASEAN Economic Community Department


Panel Discussion

ASEAN Integration – Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers Through Collaborations


Adhi Lukeman, Chairman, The Indonesian Food & Beverage Association (GAPMMI)
Pichet Itkor,
Vice Chairman, Regulatory Affairs
Food Processing Industry Club, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)
Cuong Ba Tran,
Assistant Director, Trade Facilitation Division, Market Integration Directorate, ASEAN Secretariat

Moderator: Ng Kim Keat, Chairman, FIA Science & Technical Committee


Closing Remarks and Next Steps
Matt Kovac, Executive Director, FIA


Networking Lunch

For any further queries, please feel free to email


Closing Remarks and Next Steps
Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director
Food Indu


Closing Remarks and Next Steps
Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director
Food Industry Asia



Pichet Itkor
Vice Chairman, Regulatory Affairs
Food Processing Industry Club
Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)


Dr Pichet Itkor is the Health Policy and Scientific Affairs Director for ASEAN, Korea and Japan in Reckitt Benckiser. His responsibilities in the company are to lead drive the scientific-based, business-sensible and society-sustainable health policy in the region. He is supposed to also provide the leadership in implementing the health policy work across the organisation to enable future innovation, as well as to ensure regulatory compliance of company products. 

He previously served as a Regulatory Affairs Director for Thailand and Emerging Markets in Mead Johnson Nutrition (Thailand) Ltd. Prior to this position, he was Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager in Coca-Cola Southeast and West Asia. Dr Pichet began his career after completion of university education in Ajinomoto Co. (Thailand) Ltd in the area of amino acid production technology.

He is active in several professional and trade associations in Thailand. He was President of Thai Society for Biotechnology during 2003-2010 and also served as a Vice Chairman for Regulatory Affairs of the Food Industry Club under the Federation of Thai Industries since 2008 until presence. Under this capacity, he represents food industries collaboratively working with Thailand FDA to ensure that an appropriate risk management system is implemented in the way that is practical and trade facilitating. 

He holds a PhD in Biological Chemistry from Nagoya University, Japan, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Master of Science in Biotechnology from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.



Adhi Lukman
Indonesian Food & Beverages Association (GAPMMI)


Adhi Lukman graduated from IPB (Bogor Agricultural University), Faculty of Agricultural Engineering & Technology, Food Technology & Human Nutrition in 1984. He is recognized internationally as an authority in the food industry. 

In addition to his role with GAPMMI, Adhi Lukman works with several organizations, as Chairman of Permanent Committee for Development of Food Industry, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KADIN); Commissioner National Consumer Protection Agency(BPKN); Member of Working Team of Indonesia’s National Productivity Board (LPN); Member of Expert Working Group of National Food Security Council (DKP); Member of National Codex Committee; Coordinator Industrial and Government Relationship Division of The Indonesian Association of Food Technologist (PATPI); Member of Advisory Board PT SGS; Member of Impartiality Committee PT. TÜV NORD Indonesia; Member of Notification Body & Inquiry Point (TBT-WTO), National Standard Body (BSN); Advisory Board of Food Science & Technology Department, Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB); Jury SNI Award (BSN); Steering Committee of Standard Community (MASTAN/BSN); Member of Working Group on Acceleration Nutrition Improvement, Ministry of Development Planning / BAPPENAS; Member of Working Group (3) Evaluation and Ana

lysis Impact of Economic Policy, Ministry of Coordinating Economic of Republic Indonesia.In 2017 he was the Advisor of Indonesia Australia Business Council, and also as President of AFBA (ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance). 

Adhi travels national & internationally as a speaker at various forums, as well as guest lectures at several universities.


Cuong Ba Tran
Assistant Director
Trade Facilitation Division
Market Integration Directorate
ASEAN Secretariat

Cuong Ba Tran is currently the Assistant Director, Trade Facilitation Division, Market Integration Directorate, the ASEAN Secretariat. He has over 13 years of his career in the field of trade negotiations and policy making. 

Before joining the ASEAN Secretariat, he worked for the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam. He participated in many FTA negotiations, including Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (now renamed as CP-TPP), Viet Nam – Israel, Viet Nam – EFTA, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN- Australia – New Zealand, ASEAN – Korea and ASEAN – China FTAs. Under such negotiations, he covered various areas, such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment, rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation. He also worked as a WTO expert. 

He also had some articles written for newspapers and magazines, including “Boosting the import – export of Vietnam after joining the WTO”, the National Committee of the International Economic Cooperation – 2006; “Substantial differences between the Rules of Origin of the ASEAN-Korea FTA and AFTA”, Vietnam Trade Review, No 30 (440) – 2006, page 24-26 and No 31 (441) – 2006, page 18 and 23; “The TBT Notification Point of China and the experiences applied to Vietnam” on the Vietnam Trade Review, No 40 (450) – 2006, page 16-17 and 27; “Establishing the network of issuance and verification of the electronic Certificate of Origin in Vietnam” on the Vietnam Trade Review, No 42 (452) – 2006, page 24-26.



Ng Kim Keat
FIA Science & Technical Committee


Ng Kim Keat is currently the Group Director, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Asia Pacific for Coca-Cola Far East Limited. In over 25 years of his career in the field of scientific and regulatory affairs, he has worked for Nestle, Kellogg South East Asia and Amway Malaysia.

He is an active member of various scientific and industry bodies, and currently serves as Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) of Food Industry Asia [FIA], Board of Director of ASEAN Food & Beverage Alliance (AFBA), and Vice Chairman of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturer Malaysian Food Manufacturing Group (FMM MAFMAG).