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Sebastian Cortes Sanchez ATC MGT 21

Sebastian Cortes-Sanchez




RMIT University
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Master of Global Trade, Class of 2021
Co-sponsor: Asian Trade Centre


Technical & Relationship Lead
Regional Trade for Development (RT4D), Singapore

“In increasingly uncertain times, the Master of Global Trade program and its scholars have shown resilience, adaptability and a willingness to support each other.”

Alumni background

Based in Singapore, Sebastian is the Technical & Relationship Lead for Regional Trade for the Development (RT4D) Facility, an initiative that will support the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and upgraded AANZFTA agreements. He works closely with regional partners like the ASEAN Secretariat and AANZFTA/RCEP committees to support national partners and engage private sector stakeholders in securing a more predictable, transparent, and market-based framework for regional trade.

Prior to RT4D, Sebastian was the Associate Director at the Asian Trade Centre (ATC), an independent advocate for growing trade in Asia Pacific region. Sebastian began his career with the ATC as a Research Assistant. He also worked briefly as a researcher at the Blackpeak Group, and for the Latin American Chamber of Commerce.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics at Yale-NUS College in 2018 and studied economics and comparative politics at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in 2016. As a Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholar, Sebastian earned a Master of Global Trade at RMIT University Vietnam in 2021.

Personal statement

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) throughout the Asia region, have found themselves with sub-optimal skills, knowledge and trade networks. 

I want to develop partnerships and initiatives that help MSMEs adopt trade, supply chain and digital transformation strategies that increase their resilience and sustainability. I will be able to achieve these by leveraging the skills, knowledge and networks that I acquire through the Global Trade Leader Scholarship.

I trust that with an increased practical understanding of regional business needs, I can work with policymakers across the region to craft regulatory and economic environments that ensure trade can be a positive contributor to the economic empowerment and sustainability of MSMEs in Asia and Latin America.

The Hinrich Foundation community includes a diverse group of scholars with business and management experience across most industries. I believe it has the potential to become a network of scholars who support and learn from each other, and work together to research and develop initiatives that promote a more sustainable and inclusive trade environment.

I look forward to working with the HF community to find and create opportunities that bring together different types of stakeholders to develop innovative solutions in an increasingly uncertain and dynamic trade environment.