Japan Economic Foundation

Asia-Pacific Forum

1.Date November 24 - 25, 2016

Pullman Hanoi, Vietnam

3.Co-hosted Japan Economic Foundation (JEF)
Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM)

Advancing trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific
The Asia Pacific region boasts high dynamism in terms of regional economic integration. A range of free trade agreements have been negotiated, concluded and implemented at plurilateral, regional or bilateral basis. Most notable attempts so far have been the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Despite differences and potentially competing nature, still, these agreements arguably represent intermediate steps towards wider integration in the Asia Pacific region. Once achieved, Asia-Pacific-wide trade and investment liberalization will bring about more economic opportunities and benefits for economies in the region.
With the above viewpoints, recent difficulties with the TPP ratification and RCEP negotiation can hardly deny the fundamental importance of economic integration in the Asia Pacific. Instead, such difficulties call for deepening efforts to build consensus and boldly address remaining obstacles to regional economic integration. The Asia Pacific Forum in Hanoi will contribute to the policy discussion regarding how to speed up liberalization of trade and investment in the region.

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr. Cung Dinh NGUYEN
, President, CIEM
Mr. Kazumasa KUSAKA, Chairman and CEO, JEF

Session 1: Roadmap for Asia Pacific economic integration: issues for consideration

Key discussion points:
* What do you think about the global economic outlook against the background of surging protectionism and inward looking nationalism such as Brexit?
* What do you think would be Asia's responsibility for achieving global economic growth?
* What is the current state of major FTAs in the Asia Pacific? Is there significant room for new (even more comprehensive) FTAs?
* New justifications for pro-development nature of new-generation FTAs?
* Prospect of currently pending FTAs (such as TPP, RCEP)
* What are the key factors for effectively harmonizing current FTAs into a more effective integration roadmap for Asia Pacific?

Moderator: Mr. Naoyuki HARAOKA, Executive Managing Director, JEF

Dr. Thanh Tri VO
, Senior Researcher, CIEM, Vietnam
Ambassador Murray MCLEAN AO, Chairman, Dunmore McLean Pty Ltd., Australia
Professor Yunling ZHANG, Professor, Academy Member and Director of International Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)
Professor Yukiko FUKAGAWA, Professor, School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University, Japan
Professor Gary HAWKE, Emeritus Professor, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealandbr

Session 2: New issues of regional trade and investment liberalization

Key discussion points:
* Connectivity enhancement: framework, steps, and contemporary challenges
* Participation in GVCs (global value chain): any risks from the web of FTAs in Asia Pacific
* Phasing out TBT (technical barriers to trade) and SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary measures): room for meaningful progress
* Dispute settlement in FTAs: too formalistic, or too asymmetrically restrictive?

Moderator: Professor Josef T. YAP, Professorial Lecturer, University of the Philippines School of Economics

Speakers: Dr. Lurong CHEN , Economist, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
Dr. Choong-Yong AHN, Chairman, Korea Commission for Corporate Partnership (KCCP)
Datuk P. RAVIDRAN Palaniappan, Senior Director, ASEAN Economic Cooperation Division, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) of Malaysia
Professor Simon SC TAY, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA)
Dr. Chedtha INTARAVITAK, Research Fellow, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI)

Session 3: Linking trade with domestic policy reforms: building consensus for coherent move toward economic growth

Key discussion points:
* What are the required domestic reforms for effective participation in new-generation FTAs in the Asia Pacific to achieve growth strategy?
* Improvement of business environment to leverage the benefits from integration
* Building consensus: from talks to actions
* Measures to establish and/or improve G2B and B2B linkages

Moderator: Dr. Thanh Tri VO, Senior Researcher, CIEM, Vietnam

, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India
Dr. Yose Rizal DAMURI, Head of the Department of Economics, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Indonesia
U SOE Wing, Executive Director, Renaissance Institute, Myanmar
Professor Josef T. YAP, Professorial Lecturer, University of the Philippines School of Economics
Dr. Mignonne Man-jung CHAN, Chair and CEO, Out-of-the-Box Consultancy, Taiwan

Closing Remarks
Dr. Cung Dinh NGUYEN, President, CIEM
Mr. Kazumasa KUSAKA, Chairman and CEO, JEF

6.Conference Summary  
7.Chairman's Speech