Panelists of Trade Committee Launch
Opening Remarks & Moderator:
Naa Aryeetey – WISTA International Executive Committee Member
Mrs. Naa Densua Aryeetey is a shipping and trade consultant with hands-on experience of almost 30 years in these two sectors. Having worked with the Ghana Shippers Authority as a Senior Manager and Head of Shipper Services and Trade Facilitation Department, she held the responsibility of promoting and protecting shippers’ interests. Fostering collaboration & co-operation with Regional and International Organizations, engaging with other stakeholders in the Shipping and Trade Industries with the view of assisting shippers. Naa Densua has worked closely with Large, medium, and small-scale entrepreneurs to bring solutions to their shipment challenges. Through education and training, she helped to bring understanding to trends/policies within the national, regional, and international shipping and trade sectors that have an impact on the trade transactions of these shippers especially the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, focusing largely on the export drive. Her responsibility expanded in cross-border trade along Ghana’s transit corridors with the coordination of Shipper Complaints and Support Units at the major entry and exit border points of Ghana which give support, timely and accurate information to traders using the route. Naa Densua serves as a member of Ghana’s National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) when Ghana ratified the WTO TFA. She has served as a member of Ghana’s Technical Working Group for Trade Facilitation on Boosting Intra-African Trade a major priority of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. Naa Densua also served on the Ghana National Air Transport Facilitation Committee which ensures that air freighters are not hindered in their trade transactions and provides the necessary guidance and solutions to their air shipment facilitating their trade by air transport. Naa Densua holds a Master of Science (MSc.) Degree in Maritime Affairs, from the World Maritime University, Malmo, Sweden. A Post Graduate Diploma in Port & Shipping Management from the International Maritime Academy, Den Helder, in The Netherlands. With a Bachelor’s Degree and a Diploma in Education both from the University of Cape Coast, in Ghana, she holds an intermediate Certificate in French from the Alliance Francaise Accra and other relevant certificates in the Maritime and Trade sectors. Naa Densua is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, she was recently elected as an Executive Member of the Governing Council of the Institute, Ghana Branch. Naa Densua is an Executive Committee Member of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) International. She is also responsible for the WISTA Trade Committee, the HR Committee, and the Focus Group Africa of WISTA International. She is the Founder and first President of WISTA Ghana from 2010 to 2017. She has served on a number of Boards including government agencies and International Maritime institutions.
Paula Pasten – Chair of WISTA International Trade Committee & Co-Founder of Click and Connect
CEO Click and connect, advisor on international trade matters at Sercotec (Service of Technical Assistance) in their Small Business Development Center at Region Metropolitan. ProChile authorized Speaker for Logistics, Shipping, and International Trade import and export. Founder president of WISTA Chile, with more than 16 years of experience in shipping companies, shippers, exporters, importers, freight forwarders, banks, and associated services related to international trade. Nowadays I am working for different public and private initiatives related to SMes and International Trade issues. Collaborator in the International trade mapping Project for South America with the IDB and SOFOFA (Association of Chilean Industries). APEC Chile 2019 and contributing our experience in the newly created Committee on Trade Facilitation within the framework of the WTO chaired by the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations. Vice president of Civil Society Council for trade facilitation – Chilean International Economic Affairs.
Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou – WISTA International President & Co-CEO of Tototheo Maritime
Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou is joint CEO of TOTOTHEO MARITIME, a leading global maritime service provider specialising in innovative, efficient, and functional solutions in the fields of satellite communications, digitalization, automation, and navigation systems. As from August 2021 she is the Chairperson of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus. She is President of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association, an organization comprised of 54 National WISTA Associations. She has been instrumental to WISTA’s success in receiving consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2018. She is a board member of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation, the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, she sits on the Board of Governors of the Cyprus Maritime Academy and the Strategic Committee of Crans Montana – Club of Ports. In July 2020, she was elected as a Member of the General Committee of the Association of SA and Limited Companies in Greece and as Head of its Shipping Sector committee. Leading international shipping publication Lloyd’s List selected Despina as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in shipping in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2019 she was also named as the “International Personality of the Year” at the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards. She holds degrees from the National and Capodistrian University of Athens, the Copenhagen Business School, and the University of Oxford.
Christel Laure Beda Annequin – Trade Facilitation West Africa Program – Transport, Trade and Logistics, Agronomy and Customs Specialist
Ms. Annequin is an International Consultant with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in transport, logistics, trade and customs in West Africa. An agro-economic engineers (ISTOM, France), she also holds an MSc in Agro-commodity Trading from Ecole Supérieure Libre des Sciences Commerciales Appliquées (ESLSCA). Her work with the World Bank Group’s Trade and Facilitation West Africa (TFWA) Program allows her to work on customs regional interconnection, facilitate small-scale traders crossing borders, initiate work on gender equality in the transport and trade sectors, and support emergency issues raised by the COVID-19 crisis related to transport and trade facilitation. Ms. Annequin has a long experience working on the main West and East-African trade corridors, and has a deep knowledge of logistics and supply chains constraints, trade, and transport (road, air, and shipping) in the African context. She has conducted many studies on transport (ports, road, rail, and air), on regulatory frameworks, on corridors and transit lines, on Joint Border Post in West Africa, and on compliance with Regional Transit arrangement (TRIE), making recommendations to address customs and transport constraints. Before her work with the World Bank Group, she worked for more than 10 years as a manager for two of the leading private transport, shipping, and logistics companies operating in West Africa, Maersk Lines and Bolloré. She managed and covered various areas like road, sea, and air freight transport, port operations, logistics, customs operations, and borders management. She also worked closely with fruit and vegetable producers on their packaging and logistics chains (including cold chain) to improve the quality of their exported products.
Demitta Chiwunde Gyang – Senior Advisor on Customs AfCFTA Secretariat
Mrs. Gyang Demitta Chinwude is currently Head of Customs Cooperation, Trade Facilitation and Transit as well as Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat. Before joining the AfCFTA Secretariat, she was Assistant Chief Trade Negotiator and Head of the AfCFTA/ECOWAS department at the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN). In her capacity as head of this unit, she was the Alternate Chief Trade Negotiator for Nigeria during the Phase I negotiations of the AfCFTA Agreement. Prior to her deployment to the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations, Mrs. Gyang was a Commercial Officer at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria, 2006 – 2016 where she served in the Task Force for Trade Facilitation that eventually became the National Committee on Trade facilitation after Nigeria ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. She proceeded to Geneva, Switzerland in 2012 for an Internship at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and was a part of the Project Implementation Unit of the World Bank Growth and Employment Project (GEM), 2014 – 2016. She holds a master’s degree in International Law and Economics (MILES) from the World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland.
Rhodalyn Djanitey – Senior Shipper Services and Trade Facilitaion officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority & Member of WISTA International Trade Committee
Mrs. Rhodalyn Djanitey is an experienced trade facilitation officer with ten years demonstrated history of working in the maritime industry. Skilled in negotiation, arbitration, trade facilitation, maritime and ports. She has a strong professional support with Masters in Maritime Affairs, focused in Shipping Management and Logistics from the World Maritime University, Sweden, Malmo. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Ship Brokers (ICS ), London, member of the Ghana National Trade Facilitation Committee and a member of the WISTA International Trade committee. She currently works with the Ghana Shippers Authority as a Senior Shipper Services and Trade Facilitation Officer.
Ricardo Sanchez – CEPAL Senior Economic Affairs Officer ECLAC
Ricardo J. Sanchez is a PhD in Economics. He is an internationally recognized expert in infrastructure and maritime economics, with a special focus in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. He has worked either professionally or academically in 30 out of the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, during 29 years, as well as in countries of Europe and Asia. He holds more than 176 publications among books, chapters in books, per reviewed articles, working papers, etc. Since 2003, he is a staff member at the United Nations ECLAC, in charge of topics such as infrastructure services, ports, maritime and logistics issues, and physical integration. Member of the International Association of Maritime Economics (IAME), the Port Performance Research Network (PPRN) and the Argentine Association of Political Economy (AAEP). He has participated in more than 260 missions developing technical assistance programs; participating in multi-agency and intergovernmental meetings; coordinating and organizing conferences; and many other activities, related to infrastructure, financing, transport, mobility, logistics and regulation. Those activities cover 26 countries in the region and 22 other countries worldwide.
Muriel Maurizzio – Chartering Manager at Oceanway S.A.
Mrs. Muriel Maurizzio has a Bachelor in International Relations at Torcuato Di Tella University, a Master in International Senior Management at Universidad Complutense of Madrid, an MBA with specialization in International Commerce and Project Management at Cerem Business School (Spain) and counts with the Professional Qualifying Examination from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) and member of that organization. As well she is a founding member of Wista Argentina and member of the Wista International Trade Committee. Mrs Muriel Maurizzio is an expert in shipping, as well as multimodal transport, with more than 15 years of experience working in the maritime industry. She manages English and Spanish as native languages and has an advanced knowledge of French and Portuguese. As from 2015 she has been working as Chartering Manager at Oceanway S.A., located in Argentina, managing clients in Argentina but also worldwide (USA, Brazil, Europe and Asia)
Shubhangi Poddar – Specialist, Community Engagement and Strategy at World Economic Forum
Shubhangi Poddar is the Community Engagement ad Strategy Specialist at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India. She works at the intersection of emerging technologies and social impact looking at the responsible deployment of these technologies in domains such as education and circular economy. Previously, she worked as a research analyst with Monash University in Australia and has served as Net Impact’s Indian Ambassador. She graduated from Ashoka University with Economics and Finance honours.
Sanjam Gupta – Director of Sitara Shipping & Founder of MaritimeSheEO
Sanjam Sahi Gupta is Director for Sitara Shipping Ltd. which specializes in the handling of over dimensional cargo. She’s a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the World Maritime University based in Malmo, Sweden and a Governing council member of the Logistics Skill Council, India. She is a founder member of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) India and Exco Member of WISTA International. In 2014 the International Womens’ Leadership Forum awarded her “Leading Woman in Shipping Business” and was also awarded in 2014 by SPJIMR Business school as Outstanding Family Business.
In May 2018, she was the recipient of the Sandvik Gender Award –for her outstanding contribution and commitment to gender equality. As part of her award, she conducted India’s first survey for gathering data on women in maritime Glenmark Pharmaceuticals awarded her “Woman of the Year 2019” in March 2019. In June 2019 she was invited as part of a High-Level panel initiative by The Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, comprising a group of world leaders from coastal states committed to ocean action in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. This panel will advise 14 heads of government across the world that will drive the transition to a new and sustainable economy for a healthier and wealthier planet. She is also part of the Diversity Committee of the International Chamber of Shipping.
To further her commitment to Diversity in the maritime and Logistics industry she has launched Maritime SheEO to provide solutions to the industry. In 2020, the Dutch Consulate in Mumbai funded her research in India for “The Business Case for Diversity” wherein 100+ companies participated.
Tuina de Benito – Regional Manager ASYCUDA Program Las Americas UNCTAD-DTL
Tiuna De Benito holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law, obtaining the degree of “LAWYER”, at the University Santa María, Caracas-Venezuela. His specialization in international transportation: Mention Maritime Commerce UNITAR-Geneva, Switzerland and specialization in Information Technologies: Program ASYCUDA UNCTAD-DTL, UNITAR- Geneva, Switzerland. Expert in Aviation and Space Law: Ibero-American Institute of Aeronautic and Space Law. Twenty-eight years of progressive experience in the tax-customs, foreign trade and international transportation areas. Management, legal analysis and elaboration of projects in the public and private sectors and international organizations, as an expert in customs and foreign trade legislation, as well as in the elaboration of procedures, organization and methods reengineering. Legal and technical advice on Customs, Foreign Trade and International Transportation. His Current Position is Regional Manager UNCTAD-DTL Program ASYCUDA-DTL, LATAM. Regional Center Coordination Support ASYCUDA for the Americas: Technical Support El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Venezuela. Regional Center Advisor ASYCUDA World for Asia-Pacific, en Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia for the project for the implementation of ASYCUDA World and new procedures for customs modernization projects in Dacca, Bangladesh y Colombo, Sri Lanka. Regional Center Advisor ASYCUDAWorld for East Africa, for the program Port Community Integración Aduana-Puerto. Director of the Ibero-American Foreign Trade Observatory (OICEX) Madrid-Spain. Director of the Federation of Trade Points para Madrid-Spain and Caracas-Venezuela. Academic Director of the Foreign Trade Center (CECOMEX), Panama City- Panama and Santo Domingo Dominican Republic. Professor of Integrated Logistics at the Universities: Interamerican of Puerto Rico, en las sedes de San Juan – Puerto Rico y Miami – Florida, USA. The University of Mayagüez in the area of Commercial Engineering, Sailing Skipper, Private Pilot.
Gina Panayiotou – Founder & CVO, Oceans Arena
Gina Panayiotou is a maritime lawyer and strategist. She is the Founder and CVO of Oceans Arena, a consultancy practice offering bespoke legal supports and brand strategies to startups, NGOs, SMEs, and corporates, especially those with ESG focus. Additionally, she is the Concept Founder, host, and producer of the online broadcast “It’s ALL about Shipping” fireside chats and the “Global Legal Roundtable” series, which focuses on youth empowerment and raising awareness of key legal issues affecting the oceans industry respectively. Gina has been shortlisted for the Greek International Women Awards 2021 and awarded the first Young Leader Award in Cyprus, for being a vigorous “Brand ambassador” of the shipping industry. Serving this mission consistently, she is the Brand Manager of YoungShip U.A.E, Secretary of WISTA UK, has acted as communications content liaison for maritime-related NGO’s such as WISTA Cyprus and WISTA UK, while she also represents UK in the WISTA International Trade Committee. An experienced maritime lawyer, Gina has been acknowledged by Legal 500, GC Powerlist Greece and Cyprus, as one of the Top 100 in-house counsel driving innovation within their sector. She has held numerous senior roles; ranging from Legal Manager of a shipowning company, Global Head of Shipping & Energy in a multijurisdictional law firm, to in-house legal counsel of an international cruise manager. Her main focus is transactional work, legal strategy, and policy. She has acted as Project Manager and Chair of various conferences, including among others, the International Maritime Organisation IMO 2020 & Fuel Symposium 2019 conference, ShipCon 2018, various Maritime Informa Connect events, Digital Ship & VPO, as well as the Lloyds Maritime Academy. A self-development enthusiast, any free time she has is devoted to personal growth, which she feels is key in shaping a person into a “change agent” of substance & purpose, facilitating the transition from dreams to reality.