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Chian Voen Wong

Senior Trade Consultant, Asia Pacific
Fax +65.6507.8111
Ms. Wong is a senior trade consultant in the antitrust, competition, and trade regulation practice group. She advises clients on international trade issues, including trade, customs, export controls, sanctions and other regulatory requirements, and investment rules. She works with clients to design optimal supply chain flows, leveraging on free trade agreements (FTA), bonded schemes, free trade zones, incentive programs, etc. She also has extensive experience advising clients on Customs, regulatory and operational matters, including classification rulings, valuation, customs audits, investigations and voluntary disclosures, origin certification and verification, labelling, export control requirements and internal compliance programs, economic sanctions, and technical regulations and requirements (such as China’s CCC Certification and exemption, hazardous chemicals regulations, cosmetic product notification requirements), and product recalls.

Ms. Wong has engaged with regulatory authorities on various matters, such as the China Customs, the Anti-smuggling Bureau in China, the Singapore Customs, the Health Sciences Authority in Singapore, the Singapore Police, the Royal Malaysian Customs, Malaysia’s ministries of Finance and International Trade and Industry, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department and the Trade and Industry Department, Taiwan’s Customs Administration, ministries of Economic Affairs and Agriculture, and Papua New Guinea’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In addition, Ms. Wong provides assistance in evaluating government policies for consistency with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and devising WTO-consistent incentive programmes and policies. She also advises clients on formulating strategies for engaging government authorities in support of the clients' interests in international trade negotiations and trade/regulatory developments. Ms. Wong also provides sovereign clients with advice and assistance on international trade negotiations, including the consideration and definition of negotiating options and strategies.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Wong served as a director at a global law firm. She was also formerly an assistant director of the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry and an assistant manager at the International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore, now known as Enterprise Singapore). She was involved in FTA negotiations (Rules of Origin, or “ROO”) with New Zealand, Japan, the European Free Trade Area, the United States and Mexico.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Speaker on “Trade Policies, Trade Politics and Trade Agreements”, International Trading Professional Conversion Program organized by the International Trading Institute, Singapore Management University, 2017, 2018 & 2019
  • Panelist for the Asia-Pacific Regional Round of the ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law, 2016, 2017 & 2018
  • FTA Panel of Advisors, IE Singapore (2009 – 2014)
  • Member, AmCham Shanghai Customs Liaison Taskforce (2010 – 2012)

Additional Information

  • "What should Singapore businesses look out for when the US re-introduces sanctions on Iran?", 8 August 2018
  • "The Stakes in the US-China Trade War", 26 July 2018
  • Without the United States, 11 Countries Conclude a Revised Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, Mar 2018
  • China Customs Focuses on Voluntary Disclosures and Under-reporting of Royalties, Sept 2016
  • Singapore: Benefits of integration still far off for businesses, Singapore Straits Times, Dec 2015
  • Controversies Standing in the Path to TPP Ratification, Oct 2015
  • The Meaty Impact Of The WTO's Argentina Beef Ruling, Law360, Aug 2015
  • WTO Panel Rules Against US Measures Affecting Importation of Animals, Meat and Other Animal Products from Argentina, July 2015
  • Vietnamese Exporters Need to Plan for FTA Lawsuit Liability, Viet Nam News, May 2015
  • Vietnam Enterprises Must be Ready for Trade Barriers Abroad, Self-defense at Home: Experts, , May 2015
  • Workshop on improving export business awareness in trade remedies, VietnamPlus, May 2015
  • Will Vietnam Sink or Swim Amid a Proliferation of FTA?, Vietnam Economic Times, Feb 2015
  • Coping with Commitments, Vietnam Economic Times, Feb 2015
    • Advised a U.S. chemical manufacturer on various matters relating to its supply chain restructuring exercise, including identifying and assessing options to deal with the impact of the US-China trade war, examining various options for new supply chain and business model (including the duty import and tax implications, special customs schemes, royalty payments, customs interactions, customs valuation considerations, tariff classification, etc.), and advising on applications for customs advanced rulings on tariff classification and country of origin.
    • Conducted a study on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, focusing on the road, rail and port infrastructure projects and programs, and identified alternative logistics opportunities for a global FMCG company in the short-, medium- and long-term.
    • Advised a client on classification and valuation of its products, and compliance with customs procedures and requirements. Identified and assessed various options for its China and Taiwan trade lanes, including identifying solutions to resolve duty/VAT leakage.
    • Advised an international trading company on China's environmental protection regulations in regard to import of solid waste, and conducted documentary due diligence on a third-party supplier's recycling operations in China for compliance with said regulations.
    • Advised a European logistics services company on its strategic plan to establish an Asia-Pacific hub, focusing on origin, transportation, consignment, packing and documentation requirements for preferential claims under the EU-Korea FTA.
    • Part of team supporting a global chemical company in responding to an investigation by China's Anti-smuggling Bureau for potential criminal offence in relation to its processing trade operations. Work included reviewing documents and data, interviewing persons involved, identifying gaps/exposures and options to move forward, coordinating and facilitating discussions between the client's regional headquarters and its China team.
    • Advised a Japanese cosmetic company on the regulatory requirements in regard to product registration, labeling, standards, sale, import and distribution of products in duty-free outlets in India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Indonesia and the Philippines.
    • Advised a global bank on Singapore's application of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions in regard to Libya.
    • Maintained a long-term collaborative relationship with a multi-national agri-business, advising on supply chain/indirect tax planning exercises, government advocacy strategies, customs audits/investigations. Projects include: a global cost-savings program which resulted in immediate 1-year duty savings of £11 million, review of supply chain footprint in the Asia Pacific region (conducted a high-level Greenfield investment study and a tariff study, and analyzed key considerations and constraints on the supply chain, leading to streamlining of parts the supply chain to leverage on cost-savings opportunities identified and a more in-depth consideration of Greenfield recommendation), and engagement with trade negotiators of two Asian countries relating to bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations and with a trade officer of a Pacific country to advocate for a tariff change.
    • Successfully assisted a major European liquor manufacturer to negotiate for favorable tax incentive for its Asian distribution hub and establish its network of operations in Asia, including conducting a Greenfield study, advising on customs and licensing requirements, labeling, warehousing and other issues, advising on the client's negotiations with the government authority for investment incentives.
    • Assisted a global manufacturer of highly engineered products in its exploration of potential markets in Asia, North and South America, as well as sourcing countries. The work included examining special trade regimes and FTAs, and determined cost-savings potential of proposed product flows.
    • Created an operational manual for a global aerospace client on India's import/export requirements and procedures.
    • Advised a global aerospace client on the permit requirements, chemical/hazardous chemical restrictions, etc., in regard to the import of various parts and components into Singapore.
    • Worked with a team to successfully structure a major incentive scheme for investment in rural development that is compliant with WTO Agreements, for a major European agri-business to table to the government of an ASEAN country.
    • Reviewed and provided a critical assessment of issues relating to the implementation of an ASEAN country’s automotive industrial plan for a global automaker to submit to the government; the study included an assessment of consistency with WTO rules, analysis of and comparison with automotive industrial plans of other major Asian auto-making countries, and recommendations for improvements.