Rule of law key to building an ASEAN Community by 2015

European Union leaders and the leaders of Thailand, Laos and Singapore meet in Laos at the Asia-Europe Summit on 5 November 2012. ASEAN has taken a less rule-bound approach to regional integration than Europe (Photo: AAP).

Author: Imelda Deinla, ANU

ASEAN is on its path to establishing an ASEAN Community by 2015, where the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will be its flagship initiative to regional integration.

The AEC Blueprint spells out the aims of ASEAN’s economic integration Read more…

The WTO and global supply chains

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy speaks during the 8th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland on 16 December 2011. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Richard Baldwin, Graduate Institute, Geneva and University of Oxford

The cross-border flows of goods, investment, services, know-how and people associated with international production networks — call it ‘supply chain trade’ for short — has transformed the world. But the WTO has not kept pace. Read more…

Will RCEP compete with the TPP?

World leaders at the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, where the RCEP was launched. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Beginda Pakpahan, UI

Competition appears likely to emerge between ASEAN’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an agreement to launch negotiations for which was reached at the East Asia Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh on 20 November, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Read more…

Why the RCEP matters for Asia and the world

Delegates from 16 Asia Pacific nations pose for photos in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on 9 May 2013, prior to the first round of negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, ADBI

Mega-regional trade deals are in vogue.

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are grabbing headlines around the world. Meanwhile, Asia’s own mega-regional trade deal — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) — is quietly being negotiated. Read more…

ASEAN stumbles in Phnom Penh

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (Center-R) speaks as Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Center L), Thai Minister of Defence Sukumpol Suwanatat (L) and Cambodian Defence Minister general Tea Banh (Front-R) listen during a press briefing at the sidelines of the US-ASEAN business forum in Siem Reap province, northwest of Phnom Penh, on 13 July, 2012. (PHOTO: AAP)

Author: Donald K Emmerson, Stanford University

Never in 45 years of regular meetings faithfully followed by bland communiqués have the ASEAN foreign ministers failed to agree on a public statement summarising their private deliberations — until now.

At the end of their gathering in Phnom Penh on 13 July, the silence was deafening. The proximate cause was Read more…

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the environment and climate change

TPP talks

Author: Matthew Rimmer, ANU

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a sweeping, plurilateral free-trade agreement spanning the Pacific Rim.

The ongoing, secretive treaty negotiations involve Australia and New Zealand; Read more…

BRICS and the international economic order — an idea whose time has come

Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer (L) shaking hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a signing ceremomy in Moscow, Russia, on 17 May 2011. Temer visited Putin to discuss the bilateral cooperation between Russia and Brazil in the UN and the BRICS. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sourabh Gupta, Samuels International

In its catchy 2003 report which conjectured that the combined GDP of the BRIC economies would exceed that of the United States, Japan, Britain, France and Germany, collectively, by mid-century, Goldman Sachs projected the sizes of the Chinese, Indian, Russian and Brazilian economies to be US$ trillion 4.8, 1.4, 1.2 and 0.9 respectively, in 2015.

In fact, each of the BRICs surpassed its projection in 2010. Clearly, the future is arriving sooner than was thought! Read more…

Asia and the international trade regime

A cargo ships unloads containers at Jakarta seaport. How trade policy strategy evolves in Asia matters not just to the regional economy but also for the international trade regime. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

The coming year will likely see major developments in the denouement of the contest between regional strategies across Asia and the Pacific, with the ASEAN-inspired Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) now vying for policy primacy alongside the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) strategy across the region.

Read more…

2011 East Asia Summit: New members, challenges and opportunities

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) gestures as Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem (R) looks on during a press conference at the 17th ASEAN Summit and related summits in Hanoi, Vietnam, 30 October 2010. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Maria Monica Wihardja, CSIS, Jakarta

In mid-November 2011, Indonesia will host the Sixth East Asia Summit (EAS).

Based on the Kuala Lumpur Declaration 2005, this year’s Summit will continue to be a forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues to promote ‘common security, common prosperity, and common stability.’ Read more…

ASEAN+8 – A recipe for a new regional architecture

G20 leaders (First Row from L to R) Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown, (Second Row from L to R) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Thai Prime Minister and chair of ASEAN Abhisit Vejjajiva, US President Barack Obama, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Meles Zenawi pose during the G20 summit in east London on April 2, 2009. (Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

Author: K Kesavapany, ISEAS

As the international centre of economic gravity moves towards East Asia, the challenge for the region is to develop a new architecture commensurate with its growing role in world affairs.

Consider East Asia. There is no doubt that East Asian countries are well-represented in the Group of 20, which is turning into a genuine platform for international economic cooperation. China and India, the two rising Asian giants, are prominent members of the G20. Read more…