Chia brings experience from IPOS and Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The International Trademark Association (INTA) has announced the appointment of Walter Chia as its chief representative officer for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. Chia has over 24 years of experience in government. Prior to joining INTA, he was with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and, prior to that, with the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As chief representative officer for Asia Pacific, Chia will continue the work begun when INTA opened its Asia Pacific Representative Office in Singapore in 2015 with the aim of helping the association to further its Strategic Plan in the region by supporting local members and working with partners in government and industry to promote trademarks and protect consumers. Positioned geographically in the center of the region that stretches from Australia and New Zealand in the south to Japan and South Korea in the north, Singapore is also an IP and business-friendly city that operates as a hub, allowing INTA to liaise more easily with members and government officials throughout the region.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Walter’s extraordinary experience, energy, and passion to INTA. I know his perspective, dynamism, and deep understanding of IP in the Asia Pacific region will elevate all of our work,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo.
Asia is a strategically important region for INTA. Close to 70 percent of all trademark filings take place in Asia. More than 50 percent of global free trade zones are located in Asia. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) community is set to become the 4th largest economy by 2050. Under Chia’s leadership, the Asia Pacific Representative Office will work to provide more Business Development opportunities for members and seek to raise the bar on the overall member experience while continuing the work of advocacy, communication, and cooperative exchanges of ideas and expertise in the region.
Chia replaces Seth Hays, who left the organization in January to take on a role as director of strategic planning at the Center for Asia-Pacific Resilience and Innovation (CAPRI) in Taipei. Hays had worked for INTA in the region since 2014 when he was named its chief representative for Shanghai and Beijing; he added the chief representative for Asia Pacific title in 2016.
“I’m excited to explore how INTA can better serve the needs of its existing members as well as attract new members from what is one of the fastest-growing areas in the world. In fact, we are seeing strong registration volume from across the region for the upcoming 2023 Annual Meeting in Singapore,” said Chia. “As a new representative of INTA, I look forward to welcoming the IP community to Singapore. With the global geopolitical situation growing more complex, we should seize the opportunity to meet with our counterparts, existing and new service providers, and clients alike in a safe and neutral setting that the Annual Meeting in Singapore presents.”
The 2023 Annual Meeting Live+ takes place in person in Singapore from May 16 to May 20 and virtually from June 27 to June 29. As of March 10, more than 6,200 registrants have signed up for the meeting. Registration for the virtual-only component opens on March 13.