Read this quarter’s Intermedia here

2nd - 3rd February 2021

Annual Asia Telecommunications & Media Forum (Online)

Virtual Event, Telecommunications & Media Forum (TMF), Chapter event

Tuesday 2 – Wednesday 3 February, 2021 
1400 SGT /1700 AEST / 0600 GMT
Duration: 4 hours each day

In association with IIC Chapter Singapore

The IIC’s well respected annual Asia Telecom & Media Forum returned, albeit online. Regulators and policy makers from across the region discussed the initiatives taken in response to the pandemic and how that will translate into objectives and priorities in 2021 and beyond. Addressing the connectivity and usage gaps laid bare by the pandemic was the starting point for discussions focusing on infrastructure, capacity building to accelerate digital transformation for all, privacy, cybersecurity and trust post COVID-19, online platform responsibilities, content and online video – lock-down learnings, innovation & governance to support the digital and creative economies.


Tuesday 2 – Wednesday 3 February, 2021 
1400 SGT /1700 AEST / 0600 GMT
Duration: 4 hours each day

Registration is now open – please click on the link on the right to complete your registration.

Registration Fees for delegates


NON-MEMBERS – £150 GBP (inclusive of VAT)

If you feel the delegate fee may be a barrier to attending this event, please contact us at

Summary Report

The changing view of the importance of digitisation by governments, with digital connectivity re-defined as a utility to which all citizens should be entitled, has resulted in authorities moving quickly to support the expansion of their digital economies. Many countries see the digitisation of their societies as something which has to include the triumvirate of citizens, business and public services, and the creation of ‘contact-free’ infrastructure. New executive agencies have emerged alongside private-public partnerships to expand networks, often with fresh waves of investment dollars. At a time when most countries are struggling with the economic impact, and with many operators financially squeezed, questions remain over the sustainability of the funding cycle. Policymakers are required to create a stable and predictable regulatory environment, with sensible levels of taxation. Regulatory fragmentation, especially in areas like privacy and data, remain a concern. Social issues, such as algorithmic bias and inclusivity, are also becoming part of the digital agenda as evidence suggests that the pandemic hit women and the poor hardest.

Operators continue to highlight the ‘regulatory disparity’ between network providers and content platforms, the latter accused of ‘value extraction’. However, online content providers point to the difference between revenue and profit, and emphasise the risk that is inherent in buying and producing content. The ‘long tail’ of creativity is central to the vibrancy and competiveness of the market, from which consumers continue to benefit. Broadcasters too are taking advantage of new technology, both to support their existing business models and to launch streaming platforms of their own. Piracy, the content providers argue, is the real threat to the market.

The issue of ‘platform power’ remains central to the digital debate. Regulation designed to protect intermediaries from third party responsibility, the so-called ‘safe harbour’ rule, is essential to ensuring that platforms are not turned into censors. Any requirement for content to be ‘checked in advance’, as well as rapid take-down notices, would result in lawful as well as unlawful content being removed, and reduce the diversity that the internet provides. The cost of such compliance would also constrain the ability of new platforms to emerge in competition with the large players. On the other side of the argument was the case, simply, that the power now being exerted by platforms means that new regulation is inevitable, even if its framing remains open to fierce debate.

The proliferating number of trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region have consistently failed to take proper account of the growing importance of e-commerce. The RCEP agreement was hailed for including a specific e-commerce chapter, but parties are not obliged to continue to recognise it. In any case, rather than being the subject of a chapter, it needs to be recognised that digital is the connective tissue joining all kinds of trade, and should be a thread running through the entirety of the agreement. Many officials with limited digital knowledge are wary of entering into legally binding commitments. The CPTPP approach, allowing bilateral ‘side letters’ to act as a safety valve, was a more creative solution. The ambition now should be for a single APAC agreement which turns into practice principles like ‘free flows of data’. In the meantime, many countries will continue to pursue separate Digital Economy Agreements both within, and beyond the region.

Full Report

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Antonio Edward Padre Officer In Charge, Director III, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); Project Director, National Government Portal, Philippines

Antonio Padre was appointed as a Director in the Information and Communications Technology Office under the department of Science and Technology in 2015. Following a number of OIC Regional Director roles, he was designated OIC Director III, Government Digital Transformation Bureau in September 2020, as well as becoming Project Director of the
National Government Portal.

Mr Padre earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Saint Louis University in 1988; he obtained his license as an Electronics and Communications Engineer in 1989 and received Professional Electronics Engineer accreditation in 1999. He also completed a Masters in Business Administration in 1999 at the International Academy of Management and Economics and a Graduate Certificate Course on Corruption Prevention at the Development Academy of the Philippines.

Arisa Siong Director, Public and Regulatory Affairs, Telenor Group

Arisa Siong is a public and regulatory affairs professional with extensive experience in telecom and digital industries. She is currently Director of Public and Regulatory Affairs for Telenor Asia. Arisa has extensive experience in telecom policy and regulation, including in relation to spectrum. Previously, she worked on infocomm and technology policy matters for the Infocomm and Media Development Authority of Singapore and has prior experience as a consultant for DotEcon, a London-based economic consultancy specialising in networked industries. Ms Siong has special interest in digital/technology policy and has written on blockchain and competition policy in a World Scientific book on Blockchain Economics.

Atsuko Okuda Regional Director, Office for Asia and the Pacific, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Ms Atsuko Okuda was appointed as the Regional Director in April 2020. Prior to the new assignment, she was the Chief of the ICT and Development Section of the ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in Bangkok, Thailand from 2015 to 2020. At ESCAP, she promoted the development of regional broadband connectivity and inclusive broadband through the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) initiative.

Before joining ESCAP,  Ms Okuda served the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in Beirut as the Chief of the Governance and State building Section and as the Team Leader responsible for ESCWA Knowledge Management. Prior to it, she contributed to the Umoja project, the UN Secretariat ERP initiative, as Testing Manager at the Department of Management, UNHQ for 2 years.  From 2002 to 2010, she was responsible for promoting a wide range of ICT for development initiatives at ESCAP and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) as Senior IT Officer.  She started her UN career in the area of ICT for Development at the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, the Bureau for Development Policy and UNDP Country Office in Bhutan from 1997 to 2002.

Ms Okuda obtained a BA from Kyoto University (Japan), MA from Helsinki University (Finland), and has currently been enrolled as a research fellow on e-governance at the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) in the Netherlands.  Her academic articles on broadband and AI were published by the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy. Among other publications and research papers, she was the author of a chapter on e-resilience in the 2018 UNDESA E-government Survey and a recent ESCAP blog on digital resilience against COVID-19.

Chee Kheong Foong Group Head of Regulatory Affairs, Axiata Group Berhad

Chee Kheong Foong is Group Head of Regulatory Affairs, Group Corporate Office, Axiata Group Berhad. Axiata is one of the largest Asian telecommunications companies, operating in ten countries and servicing approximately 290 million subscribers.

Mr Foong has over 17 years’ experience in the field of mobile and fixed telecommunications, internet broadband, broadcasting and multimedia, primarily in regulatory strategy and policy development. Prior to this current position, he was in regulatory management roles in Digi Telecommunications, Celcom Axiata, U Mobile and the Multimedia Development Corporation.

Mr Foong holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom, and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde.

Chris Chapman Former President, International Institute of Communications 2016-2024; Chairman, Nihilent Australia Pty Limited

Chris Chapman was appointed President of the International Institute of Communications on 1 April 2016. He is also Chair of the IIC Nominations Committee.

Mr Chapman previously held the position of Chairman and CEO of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). He was appointed in February 2006 and was re-appointed for a 2nd five year term in October 2010 until April 2016. He was appointed an Associate Member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in September 2007.

Mr Chapman is a seasoned executive with experience in the media, broadcasting and film, internet, telecommunications, sports rights and infrastructure development worlds.

Before joining ACMA, Mr Chapman held a number of senior management positions with the Seven Network, Stadium Australia Management, Optus and Babcock & Brown. He has also been the Chairman of Film Australia and Sports Vision Australia, and a previous member of the National Film and Sound Archives’ Advisory Council.

Mr Chapman has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales and has completed the Harvard Business School AMP program.

Christopher Martin Principal, Policy Innovation Head of North America, Access Partnership

Bio coming soon …..

Deborah Elms (Dr) Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre

Dr Deborah Elms is Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre. The Asian Trade Centre works with governments and companies to design better trade policies for the region. Dr Elms is also Vice Chair of the Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA) and sits on the International Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance and is Chair of the Working Group on Trade Policy and Law. She is also a senior fellow in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Trade Academy.

Previously, Dr Elms 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 projects include the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and global value chains.

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. Dr Elms publishes the Talking Trade Blog.

Eduardo Pedrosa Secretary General, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council

Eduardo Pedrosa is the Secretary General of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council. He co-edited An APEC Trade Agenda: The Political Economy of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and “Towards Balanced and Sustainable Growth Strategies for Post Crisis Asia”. He has written extensively on regional issues including Towards an ASEAN Economic Community: Matching the Hardware with the Operating System and Implications of an Uncertain Global Economy on Integration Initiatives.  He is a member of the Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report as well as their Ecommerce Expert Group. Before moving to Singapore, he was the coordinator of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Southeast Asia cooperation program based in Manila and also the co-editor of its journal on regional economics and politics. He has also worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Philippine government. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics.

Elaine Hui Assistant Director (Regulatory), Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA), Hong Kong, China

Elaine Hui is currently Assistant Director (Regulatory) of the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA), the executive arm of the Communications Authority established in April 2012 as the unified regulator for the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors in Hong Kong.

Miss Hui joined the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, predecessor of OFCA in 2000. As Assistant Director (Regulatory), she currently oversees all matters relating to the licensing and regulation of telecommunications network and services, including the assignment of spectrum for public telecommunications services and facilitation of the installation of telecommunications infrastructures by telecommunications licensees.

Guillaume Mascot Senior Manager Global Regulatory Policy, Shure France

Guillaume Mascot is Senior Manager Global Regulatory Policy, Shure France.

He was in previously in charge of Government Relations for Nokia in APJ (Asia-Pacific, Japan) & India. He oversaw all aspects of current and future policy and regulation in the Asia-Pacific region. In this role, he was working with institutions and other relevant stakeholders to create a favourable political and regulatory environment to foster public and private investment in the digital and broadband industries with a focus on innovation for sustainable growth, competitiveness, and quality of life in a connected environment.

Previously, Mr Mascot also led Alcatel-Lucent’s EU representation in Brussels, managed European Affairs and engaged with the European institutions. He was a board member of the EIF (European Internet Foundation) – a European think tank supporting European political leadership for the development of European multilateral public policies responsive to the political, economic and social challenges of the worldwide digital revolution – and was also an associate member of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT).

Mr Mascot holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science with a major on Public Administration and Public Policy from the University of Lille.

Harin Grewal Cluster Director (Networks, Technology & Resource), Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore; Executive Director, Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC)

Harin Grewal manages a cluster of divisions in IMDA that cover the technical aspects of telecommunications and broadcast regulation. This includes spectrum management, border coordination, , numbering, regulatory price reviews and telecommunication standards.

As Executive Director of SGNIC, Mr Grewal also leads the Singapore NIC which is responsible for the management and promotion of .sg domain names, as well as internet domain and numbering related policies. SGNIC also carries out radio interference investigations and Quality of Service measurements on behalf of IMDA.

Prior to this, Mr Grewal headed the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (“Next Gen NBN”) programme office. The Next Gen NBN is a globally unique nationwide fibre network, and its open-access model has been designed through a combination of structural and operational separation requirements set out by IMDA.

Mr Grewal is concurrently the Co-Chairman of Working Party 2, of Study Group 20 (Smart sustainable cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)) of the Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).



Hideo Nakajima Special Advisor, White & Case LLP, Tokyo

Hideo Nakajima is a Special Advisor in the White & Case  LLP Global Antitrust Practice. Mr Nakajima is based in Tokyo.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr Nakajima served for more than three years as Secretary General of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) since January 2014. In that position, Mr Nakajima encouraged cooperation among competition authorities, contributed to the convergence of competition law enforcement and policy and consultation and compliance programs for corporations and trade associations.

Mr Nakajima previously served as Director General of the Bureau of Economic Affairs, where he engaged in JFTC competition advocacy activities, was responsible for competition policy in the government, compliance program for businesses, and reviewing merger proposals. Prior to that, he worked as a Director General of the Investigation Bureau, where he was in charge of the enforcement of the Antimonopoly Act.

Mr Nakajima joined the Ministry of Finance in 1978 after graduating from Tokyo University. There, he worked in various bureaus including the International Financial Bureau and the Financial Bureau. He was twice stationed in Manila, Philippines, from 1986 to 1989 and again from 2002 to 2005, serving as Special Advisor to the President and Director General of Budget, Personnel & Management.

He is regularly consulted by Japanese media on competition issues.

Ir. Ismail (Dr) Director General, Directorate General of Resources Management and Equipment of Posts and Informatics, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Republic of Indonesia

Bio coming soon …….

Kate Reader General Manager, Digital Platforms Branch, Digital Platforms Branch, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Kate Reader has been the General Manager of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Branch (formally the Digital Platform Inquiry) since 2017. The original inquiry looked at the impact of social media platforms, search engines and other digital content aggregators on the media and advertising markets. The current 5 year Inquiry requires 6 monthly reports to the Treasurer on various digital platform services.

Ms Reader has previously been a Director of Merger Investigations, a Principal Lawyer and a Director of the Mobile and Consumer Engagement at the ACCC.  Ms Reader has worked across a number of significant issues including international mergers, NBN related matters, mobile roaming and gas and electricity matters.

Prior to joining the ACCC, Ms Reader was a Principal Lawyer at the Australian Communication and Media Authority. She also worked in regulatory roles at Ofgem and the Office of Rail and Road in the United Kingdom. Kate has Bachelor degrees in Law and Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in EC Competition Law from Kings College London

Kuek Yu-Chuang Vice President, International Business,

Kuek Yu-Chuang is iQIYI’s VP for International Business. In this role, Kuek oversees the strategic planning, marketing, business development and public affairs functions for iQIYI International. Prior to joining the company, Kuek held executive positions at Netflix, ICANN and Yahoo!. Kuek began his career as a diplomat and trade negotiator with the Singapore government. Kuek pursued his undergraduate studies at Peking University and later obtained post-graduate degrees from Harvard University and INSEAD.

Kyung-Sin Park Professor, Korea University Law School; Director, Open Net Korea

Professor Kyung Sin Park a.k.a. “K.S.”, is Professor at Korea University Law School, having been one of the nine Commissioners of the Korea Communications Standards Commission, and one of 20 members of the congressionally appointed National Media Law Advisory Committee.

He has written academically and been active on the issues of internet, free speech, privacy, defamation, copyright, etc., through organising (and expert-testifying in) major free speech and privacy lawsuits and legislative advocacy, including the 2012 unconstitutionality decision on Internet Real Name Registration Law, the 2010 decision on online “false news” provision, the 2011 online election campaign regulation, and the 2011 suit against telcos and portals for warrantless disclosure of identity data. In 2008, he also founded the Clinical Legal Education Center of Korea University School of Law (f.k.a. Global Legal Clinic) and under CLEC’s auspices, founded both, an online platform for free online counseling in 2011 and, a national transparency reporting project on both surveillance and censorship of the Korean government in 2014.

As one of the founders and the current Executive Director of Open Net Korea, Executive Director of the PSPD Law Center, Professor Park also was a key drafting partner in the Principles of Application of International Law on Communication Surveillance and International Principles on Intermediary Liability

Professor Park has an AB in Physics, Harvard University; and JD, UCLA Law School, Class of 1995.

Lynn Robinson Director General, International Institute of Communications

Lynn Robinson became Director General of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), in March 2020.

Lynn is an experienced senior director and trustee / non exec-director, having held key senior leadership positions in the technology, built environment, regulation, accreditation and dental industries. She has extensive experience of professional membership bodies working within the full spectrum including, Regulatory bodies, Industry associations and Chambers of Commerce. Lynn is a well-known and established ambassador in these areas having led on many strategic programmes to aid engagement, growth, retention, change management, stakeholder and political engagement.

An experienced Trustee / Non-Executive Director as Vice Chair at Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust, a unique heritage site in the heart of Bristol (UK), Lynn is also a Trustee / Non-Executive Director at The Bristol and Bath (UK), Parks Foundation.

Reflecting on becoming Director General at the IIC at the outbreak of a pandemic, Lynn said, ‘these last two years have been like no other we have known, with many challenges coming our way. In 2020 we successfully pivoted the organisation through a digital transformation programme to maintain a full schedule of events and by increasing the outputs delivered. Transforming the programme enabled us to continue to deliver the professional service and increase our engagement with IIC members and stakeholder community to remain connected to them through such a difficult time.

As we move through 2022, I am delighted to return to a combined in-person and online programme and to continue to evolve the IIC in to the next phase, with the vision and strategic focus to deliver our objectives and to build on our growth, engagement and retention’.


Manvinder Singh Bhullar Assistant Director, International Trade Cluster, The Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore

Manvinder Singh is an Assistant Director at the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Singapore. He is part of the team that is driving Singapore’s Digital Economy Agreement initiative and was involved in the negotiations for the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement and negotiated the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement. He also represents Singapore at the WTO on the Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce and negotiated the E-commerce chapter of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Marcus Bartley Johns Asia Regional Director for Government Affairs and Public Policy, Microsoft

Marcus Bartley Johns is Asia Regional Director for Government Affairs and Public Policy for Microsoft. He works with Microsoft’s teams and the company’s stakeholders across the region to advance public policies for trusted, responsible and inclusive digital transformation. Before joining Microsoft, Mr Bartley Johns worked for the World Bank on digital economy and trade issues, in Singapore and Geneva. He began his career as an Australian diplomat, with assignments in Geneva at the World Trade Organization, and in Bangkok working on regional economic cooperation programs.

Matthew Kurlanzik Executive Director, Global Public Policy, Asia, The Walt Disney Company

Matt Kurlanzik is a member of the Global Public Policy team covering the Asia Pacific region for the Walt Disney Company.  Based in Singapore, he has a particular focus on the policy and regulatory issues impacting the digital ecosystem.  Previously, Mr Kurlanzik worked on international strategy for an e-commerce company and in various roles across the finance sector.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from Columbia University.

Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus Chief Operating Officer, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)

Ali Hanafiah joined MCMC back in May 2000 and has held various positions in the Commission since then. He brings with him 31 years of work experience beginning as a Research Fellow in the field of RF and microwave, to working for a Malaysian telco on mobile and fixed broadband networks.

As the Chief Operating Officer, he looks into the Regulatory and Developmental matters in the Commission covering among others Licensing and Assignment, Market Regulation, Quality Monitoring, Network Security, Enforcement, Consumer and Industry Affairs, Infrastructure, Spectrum Planning, Universal Service and Postal, Courier & E-Commerce.

Notachard Chintakanond Executive Director, International Affairs Bureau, The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (NBTC)

Notachard Chintakanond is the Executive Director of the International Affairs Bureau at Office of The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (Office of the NBTC).

Mr Chintakanond is in charge of all international – related matters for Office of the NBTC. He has extensively in close cooperation with many international forums such as ITU, APT, APEC, ASEAN, WTO, ATRC as well other international collaborations. He has contributed greatly for Office of the NBTC’s work through his responsibilities covering all liberalizations and negotiations under various regional trading arrangements such as cooperation under ASEAN Telecom Regulators Council (ATRC); Spectrum coordination; Collaboration on regulatory issues with overseas regulators as well as Bilateral cooperation with other international regulatory bodies. He has also been main negotiator for Telecommunications issues under various FTA negotiations including the recently concluded RCEP 2020.

Mr Chintakanond joined the Office of the NBTC in 2009 as a Senior Analyst, Director of Policy and Planning Division, Senior Expert in Policy and Planning and Executive Director of International Affairs Bureau, respectively.

Previously, he has been Trade Negotiator at the Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN) where he was the US Desk Officer responsible, in particular, for all trade related matters and trade negotiations with the US. Later on, he worked as Foreign Relations Supervisor at the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP) where his capability covered a wide range of issues including Internationalization, Innovation, Informal Sector, Intellectual Property, and Capacity Building.

Mr Chintakanond holds a Master Degree in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick, England and Bachelor Degree in Business Administration (Marketing) from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Furthermore, He has completed The Civil Service Executive Development Program: Visionary and Moral Leadership.

Priya Mahajan Head of Asia Pacific Public Policy and Regulatory Counsel, Verizon Communications

Priya Mahajan is the Head of Asia Pacific Public Policy & Regulatory Counsel where she is responsible for strategic-level regulatory and policy advice regarding Verizon’s operations in Asia Pacific. Ms Mahajan previously served as Chief Counsel for Verizon-India where she led legal, regulatory & policy matters pertaining to India operations.

Her expertise includes consulting and advising on a range of telecom, media and technology matters. In her policy role, she works closely with the stakeholder’s policy makers, regulators and trade associations to build, support and promote the company’s policy position on ICT issues. She has successfully led policy efforts related to regulatory simplification, market access, digital trade, anti-trust, data protection & Cyber Security policy across the region.

Ms Mahajan holds honorary position at Executive Body of the Asia Pacific Carriers Coalition (APCC), an industry advocacy body representing the interest of global carriers, closely working with the policy makers in the Asia Pacific Region. She is a founding member of the Society of Women Lawyers (SoWL), a mentoring and professional platform for women lawyers in India.

Ms Mahajan is a qualified attorney, an Associate member of Institute of Company Secretaries of India. She has also attended the Accelerated Management Programme (AMP) at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

Seyed M.S. Emamian (Dr) Regulatory Advisor to ICT Ministry, Communications Regulatory Authority of Iran (CRA)

Bio cominf soon …..

Tom C Varghese Head of Connectivity and Access Policy, APAC, Facebook

Tom Varghese is the Head of Connectivity and Access Policy for Asia Pacific at Facebook. He focuses on regional issues involving spectrum, infrastructure, net neutrality, online communication services and accessibility. Mr Varghese is also a Visiting Policy Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Prior to joining Facebook he was a Director of Public and Regulatory Affairs at Telenor Group, supporting the companies businesses in South- and Southeast Asia. In his role he worked extensively across spectrum, licensing and infrastructure deployment for mobile network operators. He has previously also been a consultant to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a Research Associate at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Mr Varghese holds a Master degree in Law and a Bachelor degree in Comparative Politics from the University of Bergen, Norway.

Vunnaporn Devahastin Secretary-General, National Digital Economy and Society Commission, Thailand

Vunnaporn Devahastin is the Secretary-General for Office of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission (ONDE), Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES). In 2013, the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission employed her under the Senior Consultant position for Bureaucratic development. She served in the role of Inspector General, Secretary-General, and Deputy Permanent Secretary, respectively, under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) from 2016 to 2019. Additionally, she is Chairman of the Board for Thailand Post Distribution.

Mrs Devahastin is incredibly proud of managing the Geostationary Satellite Orbit (GSO) and policies for international satellites operating above Thailand. Additionally, Mrs Devahastin oversaw the testing and introduction of 5G technology in Thailand. She established the Government Cloud in parallel with implementing the National Data Policy and Cloud Strategy. All these efforts have led to Thailand’s increase in IMD’s International Index for Digital Ranking, in which Thailand has moved up one position to 39th in 2020.

Mrs Devahastin received Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from Chulalongkorn University and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, International Relations from Azusa Pacific University.

Wei-Chung Teng (Dr) Commissioner, National Communications Commission (NCC), Taiwan (ROC)

Dr Wei-Chung Teng is a Commissioner in the National Communications Commission (NCC), Taiwan. Prior to taking up this role he was Vice Chairman, Consumers’ Foundation, Chinese Taipei (2017/1-2018/7) and is also a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (2018/8-).

In addition he has served as Director, Consumer Reports of Taiwan (2012/11-2014/10), and as Director and Secretary General, Taiwan Alumni Association of the University of Tokyo (2017/3-). He began his career as a Researcher in the Graduate School of Information Science & Technology, University of Tokyo, (2002/3).

His principal research areas have been in Network Communication Protocols, Information Security, Network Security, and Virtual Reality.

Dr Teng holds a BSc and MS in Computer Science & Information Engineering from the National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan, and a DEng, University of Tokyo,


Jean-Jacques Sahel Asia-Pacific Head of Content Policy and Global Head of Telecommunications Policy, Google; Director, International Institute of Communications

Jean-Jacques Sahel was appointed Asia-Pacific Information Policy Lead at Google in November 2019, overseeing Google’s public policy approach in the region for issues including misinformation, online safety and intermediary liability.

He has been involved in international government and regulatory affairs for over 15 years in both the private and government sectors. Before joining Google, Mr Sahel was Managing Director of ICANN’s Brussels office and led the organisation’s corporate strategy and operations across the European region. He also led ICANN’s strategic plan for outreach, support and engagement with governments, private sector, and user groups throughout Europe, and worldwide for civil society.

Previously, Mr Sahel headed government and regulatory affairs for Skype, then digital policy at Microsoft for Europe, Middle-East & Africa regions. He had started his career in the City of London, before spending several years in the UK Government, leading in particular its international telecommunications policy.

Ex officio, Mr Sahel chaired the UK Chapter of the International Institute of Communications (IIC) from 2009-2019.  He currently serves on the IIC’s Board and is Chair of the IIC Strategy Committee. He was a member of OSAB, the Advisory Board of UK communications regulator Ofcom for 2 terms until 2016. He has authored articles and research in both mainstream media and academic publications particularly on Internet policy and governance.

Lim May-Ann Director of Data Governance, Access Partnership

Lim May-Ann is the Director of the Data Governance practice at technology consultancy firm Access Partnership, and is concurrently the Executive Director of the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA). She has worked extensively on digital policy, including data governance issues, digital economy development, emerging technology such as Web3 and blockchain, metaverse development, ICTs for development, equitable access to finance and digital tools, sustainability challenges in the technology space, and cybersecurity. She has worked with many global, regional, and local organisations such as APEC, ASEAN, PECC, INTERPOL, Council of Europe (CoE), the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), FELEBAN in Latin America, and the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), on thought leadership development, government outreach and stakeholder engagement efforts.

She is appointed to the Singapore Data Protection Appeal Panel 2019-2023 (2 terms), and sits on various international agency task forces, such as the World Bank Group’s Cloud and Data Infrastructure Private Sector Advisory Committee, World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Digital ASEAN Taskforce, the Data & Jurisdiction Team for the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network.

A strong advocate for career coaching, inclusive education and digital policies, Ms Lim also volunteers as a youth mentor with Advisory Singapore, and is the chairman of nonprofit organisation Engineering Good, which focuses on assistive technology and digital inclusion of the underprivileged and disabled. An active dive instructor, Ms Lim also organizes sea cleanups and advocates for ocean sustainability.


Peter Lovelock (Dr) Principal, Fair Tech Institute, Access Partnership; Chair, Singapore Chapter, International Institute of Communications

Dr Peter Lovelock is Principal, Fair Tech Institute, Access Partnership. Prior to its acquisition by Access Partnership, Peter Lovelock was the Director of TRPC, along with Professor John Ure.  Peter and John established the Telecommunications Research Project (TRP) at the University of Hong Kong in 1993 and the Telecoms Infotechnology Forum (TIF) in 1996. Peter subsequently established the TRPC offices in Beijing (1999) and Singapore (2006) and expanded the academic collaborations in both locations, initially with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and subsequently with Qinghua University and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Between 1999 and 2004, Peter built and ran China’s leading IT research consultancy, and prior to that he was a lead policy analyst at the UN in Geneva, where he was principal author on the World Telecommunications Development Report amongst others, including many of the ITU Secretary General’s speeches from this period.

He brings more than 25 years’ experience in telecoms, technology and media to these undertakings, including regulatory assessments, implementation and execution projects, and due diligence and market entry strategic guidance projects throughout Asia.

In recent years, Dr Lovelock has provided advice to governments and companies alike regionally on digital enablement and digital transformation, including to ASEAN on its ICT Masterplan, and to APEC on the Internet and Digital Economy principles and roadmap; as well as authoring reports on global data networks and bandwidth developments, cross border data flows and the economic impacts of data localisation, digital transactions, authentication and digital identity.

In the financial services and fintech spaces, Dr Lovelock has been involved in the establishment of new payments regulatory regimes in Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Zambia, focused on facilitating fast access channels and furthering financial inclusion He has advised and authored thought leadership on blockchains, digital and crypto currencies and national payment gateways and is currently working with multilateral donor agencies on the development of regulatory financial sandboxes in several jurisdictions and national eID schemes. Dr Lovelock is advising the Central Bank of Myanmar on their QR code standardisation and adoption, and is an expert on TV White Spaces and other non-traditional connectivity options for extending access.

Dr Lovelock is an advisor to PECC on digital and internet economy developments and sits on the board of the International Institute of Communications (IIC). TRPC provides Executive Director and Secretariat support to the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) and the Asia Pacific Spectrum Innovation Group (APSIG), among others.

Between 1999 and 2004 Dr Lovelock built and ran China’s leading IT research consultancy. Prior to that, Peter worked at the ITU in Geneva.

Sophie Kowald Editor, Intermedia; Co-Vice President of the Australian Chapter of the International Institute of Communications

Sophie Kowald is a Policy Adviser to a Member of Parliament and Co-Vice President of the Australian Chapter of the IIC.

In the decade from 2006 to 2016, Ms Kowald worked for the Australian Communications and Media Authority, an independent statutory agency, and served as a member of the Advertising Standards Board, part of the system of advertising self-regulation in Australia.

Prior to that, Ms Kowald worked at the Centre for Media and Communications Law at the University of Melbourne, the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and as a casual academic.

Ms Kowald has wide-ranging experience across media and communications policy, law and regulation. She has contributed to spectrum and content reform, the digital dividend program, a range of broadcast investigations and regulatory reviews as well as inquiries and research projects, including a report to the World Health Organisation on Controlling Cross-Border Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.

Thomas Jones Partner, Bird & Bird LLP

As a partner in international law firm Bird & Bird’s Competition & Commercial and Space & Satellite Groups in Sydney, Thomas Jones specialises in cross-jurisdictional regulatory issues in technology and communications.

Mr Jones is a telecommunications and regulatory lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience advising some of the largest communications and technology clients in the Asia Pacific, and globally.

He is Co-Head of the firm’s global Satellites and Space Activities Group and a member of the global Tech and Comms Steering Group. At Bird & Bird, he is at the forefront of developments in 5G, emerging technologies, virtual networks, integrated communications and LEO satellites. His communications and technology clients include some of the largest carriers, service providers and equipment suppliers in the Asia Pacific region and span fixed, mobile and satellite (geostationary and low earth orbit) networks.

Mr Jonesis also an experienced competition partner with particular expertise in infrastructure access, merger control and general competition law issues. He is the founder and conductor of the Sydney Lawyers Orchestra.

Day 1, Tuesday 2 February 2020

14.00 SGT Welcome

Chris Chapman, President, International Institute of Communications

14.05 SGT Accelerating digital transformation for all

Lim May-Ann, Executive Director, Asia Cloud Computing Association; Managing Director, Technology Research Project Corporate (TRPC)

Vunnaporn Devahastin, Secretary-General, National Digital Economy and Society Commission, Thailand
Dr Ir. Ismail, Director General of Spectrum Management and Standardisation of Post and ICT, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) of Republic of Indonesia
Harin Grewal, Cluster Director (Networks, Technology & Resource), Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore
Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus, Chief Operating Officer, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
Antonio Edward Padre, Officer In Charge, Director III, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); Project Director, National Government Portal, Philippines

15.20 SGT Break
15.30 SGT Digital enablement, capacity building, inclusion - steps being taken nationally and regionally to close the digital divide

Lim May-Ann, Executive Director, Asia Cloud Computing Association; Managing Director, Technology Research Project Corporate (TRPC)

Atsuko Okuda, Regional Director, Office for Asia and the Pacific, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Priya Mahajan, Head of ASPAC Public Policy and Regulatory Counsel, Verizon Communications
Arisa Siong, Director, Public and Regulatory Affairs, Telenor Group
Christopher Martin, Head of Region, Asia & US, Access Partnership

16.40 SGT Break
16.45 SGT Communications infrastructure - maximising coverage, resilience , flexibility and innovation; implications for policy making and regulation

Thomas Jones, Partner, Bird & Bird, Australia

Elaine Hui, Assistant Director (Regulatory), Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA), Hong Kong, China
Wei-Chung Teng, Commissioner, National Communications Commission (NCC), Taiwan
Chee Kheong Foong, Group Head of Regulatory Affairs, Axiata Group Berhad
Guillaume Mascot, Head of Government Relations Asia-Pacific & Japan, Nokia

18.00 SGT Close of day one

Day 2, Wednesday 3 February 2021

14.00 SGT Welcome

Lynn Robinson, Director General, International Institute of Communications

14.05 SGT Content and online video – lock-down learnings, innovation & governance to support the creative economy

Jean-Jacques Sahel, Asia-Pacific Information and Content Policy Lead, Google; Director, International Institute of Communications

Tom C Varghese, Head of Connectivity and Access Policy, APAC, Facebook
Matthew Kurlanzik, Executive Director, Global Public Policy, Asia, The Walt Disney Company
Kuek Yu-Chuang, Vice President, International Business,

15.25 SGT Break
15.30 SGT Online platform responsibilities, intermediary liability and trust – the evolving picture

Sophie Kowald, Editor, Intermedia; Co-Vice President of the Australian Chapter of the International Institute of Communications

Kate Reader, Joint General Manager, Digital Platforms Branch, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
Kyung-Sin Park, Professor, Korea Law School; Director, Open Net Korea
Dr Seyed Emamian, President, SATRA (Iranian Audiovisual Media Regulatory Authority)
Hideo Nakajima, Special Advisor, White & Case LLP, Tokyo

16.40 SGT Break
16.45 SGT Trade - DEA, DEPA, USMCA, RCEP… what needs to go into a digital trade agreement? And what will be the impact of these new ‘digital’ trade agreements on telecoms, e-commerce, and finance?

Dr Peter Lovelock, Director and Founder, Technology Research Project Corporate (TRPC); Chair, Singapore Chapter, International Institute of Communications

Dr Deborah Elms, Executive Director, Asian Trade Centre; President, Asia Business Trade Association
Notachard Chintakanond, Executive Director, International Affairs Bureau, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (NBTC)
Eduardo Pedrosa, Secretary General, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council
Marcus Bartley Johns, Asia Regional Director for Government Affairs and Public Policy, Microsoft
Mavinder Singh Bhullar, Assistant Director, International Trade Cluster, The Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore


18.00 Closing Remarks

Lynn Robinson, Director General, International Institute of Communications

Download the agenda (PDF)
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2nd - 3rd February 2021
Asia Pacific

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