Panel Discussion: Food and Agriculture Sectors – Big Winners in the TPP

Matthew Kovac, Executive Director, FIA; Mary Elizabeth Chelliah, Deputy Director, International Trade Cluster, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Singapore's lead TPP negotiator on goods; Deborah Elms, Executive Director, Asian Trade Centre; Adrian Gasparian, Director of Commodity Distribution – Asia, ADM Asia-Pacific Trading; Marcos Jank, Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Business Development, BRF Asia; and Liam Jeory, Vice President of Corporate Relations, McDonald's Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa

Venue : Stamford American Auditorium (AmCham Office, 1 Scotts Rd, #23-03 Shaw Centre)

Date : February 24, 2016

Time : 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM

Price : $25.00

Please add to calendar before registering for the event




The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will have a significant impact on the food and agriculture industries -- producers, processors, and consumers alike could realize tremendous gains from the agreement.  

AmCham Singapore and Food Industry Asia (FIA) cordially invite you for a panel discussion that will analyze the TPP's food and agriculture provisions and their impact across food and agriculture sector industries.  The session includes a light lunch.


Adrian Gasparian

Director of Commodity Distribution, Asia



Adrian Gasparian is ADM’s Director of Commodity Distribution for Asia.  Based in Singapore, Adrian oversees ADM’s commercial activities and initiatives of commodity distribution in-country across the region.  Prior to his current role, Adrian’s most recent position was General Manager of ADM Latin America, overseeing ADM’s operations in Central America, Northern South America, and the Caribbean.

Adrian joined ADM in 2007 and—prior to his roles in Latin America—worked in different commercial and management positions in grain trading and logistics in the agricultural heartland of the United States.

Adrian grew up in São Paulo, Brazil and graduated from Fairfield University, Connecticut, USA with a dual degree in International Studies and English.

Marcos Jank

Vice President - Corporate Affairs and Business Development

BRF Asia-Pacific


Marcos S. Jank is the Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Business Development of BRF Asia-Pacific, living in Singapore. Current responsibilities include handling BRF’s relations with governments and stakeholders in more than ten countries in the region, while providing support for partnerships and acquisitions. BRF is one of the largest and most successful food companies in the world.


From 2007 to 2012, was the President and CEO of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), main sugar-energy trade association with 136 member companies. He was also the founding president of the Brazilian Institute for International Trade Negotiations (ICONE), one of the country’s leading agribusiness think-tanks. In 2001-2002, he served as Special Expert in Integration and Trade at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, DC. Dr. Jank has a 18 years career as Associate Professor at the University of São Paulo’s (USP) faculties of Economics (FEA) and Agriculture (ESALQ), with sabbatical periods in U.S. and European universities. He also held consulting and project coordination positions at the World Bank, IDB, FAO, OECD, UNDP, the Hewlett Foundation and other global organizations. Jank has a Ph.D. from the School of Economics and Business, University of São Paulo (USP/FEA), a M.Sc. in agri-food policies at IAM Montpellier-France and a B.Sc. in Agronomy at ESALQ.


He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish.


Deborah Elms
Asian Trade Centre

Deborah ELMS is Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre in Singapore. She is also a senior fellow in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Trade Academy. Previously, she 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. Her research interests are negotiations and decision making, and her current research involves the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and global value chains. She has provided consulting on a range of trade issues to governments including the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Taiwan, and 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.

Liam Jeory

Vice President Corporate Relations

McDonald’s Asia, Pacific, Middle East, Africa


Liam is based in Sydney Australia.   He joined McDonald’s in 2001, heading corporate affairs in New Zealand, before taking up his current position as VP for Corporate Relations for APMEA in 2005. Liam is the former Chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of Food Industry Asia.


Prior to joining McDonalds, Liam headed corporate relations for Television New Zealand. He was a television journalist for 20 years, serving as a foreign correspondent in Europe from 1988 to 1992, covering the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of communism, the release of Nelson Mandela, and the first Gulf War. Jeory then spent four years as a television presenter and interviewer, and wrote a book of his journalistic experiences before joining the corporate world.


Liam is married to Susan. He has four children.

Mary Elizabeth Chelliah

Deputy Director of the International Trade Division

Ministry of Trade and Industry

Ms Mary Elizabeth Chelliah is the Deputy Director of the International Trade Division at the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as Head (Academic Branch) of the MTI Trade Academy an appointment she assumed in August 2011. She was accorded the title of Principle Trade Specialist in 2012.

Elizabeth has been involved in WTO matters since her posting to the Singapore Mission in Geneva from Nov 1998. She was Chair of the WTO ITA Committee in 2000. She returned to Singapore in 2002 after the launch of the DDA.

Elizabeth has also been a WTO DSB panel member of four WTO disputes namely Textiles Rules of Origin between India and the US and the EC Chicken Cuts classification dispute between Brazil, Thailand and the EC, the dolphin safe tuna labelling case between the US and Mexico and the dispute between EU, Canada and Norway on Seals.

From 2006 she was Deputy Director of the APEC Division and was the Chair of the Committee for Trade and Investment (CTI) for the years 2008-2010. During that tenure she was involved in developing what is now known as the APEC FTAAP agenda.

Elizabeth is currently overseeing Singapore’s policies relating to all trade in goods matters at the WTO and FTAs. For the WTO, viz the DDA agenda this includes Agriculture, NAMA, and Rules and regular WTO committee work on TBT, SPS, Safeguards and Import Licensing and plurilateral initiatives such as the recently concluded negotiations for ITA 2 and ongoing negotiations for Environmental Goods.

Elizabeth has been involved in FTA negotiations since 2002 primarily in the area of Goods ie Market Access, Trade in Goods Disciplines, Rules of Origin and Trade Remedies and at times Customs related matters. She has been the lead Goods negotiator in Singapore’s FTAs with EFTA, China, Korea, EU, Chinese Taipei, ASEAN-China FTA and the recently concluded TPP.  Due to the nature of the TPP negotiations, she was also involved in the agriculture negotiations. She was Singapore’s Chief Negotiator for the Singapore-Peru FTA and is CN for the ongoing review of the Japan Singapore EPA.

Matt Kovac

Executive Director

Food Industry Asia (FIA)


Matt Kovac is the Executive Director at FIA. He oversees all policy, regulatory and member services activities with a team of 13 based in Singapore. He is a seasoned corporate affairs professional with more than 17 years of experience specialising in journalism, government and stakeholder relations, policy analysis and corporate communications. 

Originally from the United Kingdom, he was an award-winning reporter for the Daily Mail, covering daily business, financial and consumer affairs topics. He holds an MBA from the Lancaster University Management School in the UK.

AmCham members:  please click the 'register' button below to sign up for the event

FIA members:  please email Nathan Sivarajah at to arrange registration and payment
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