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Recent Developments in Asia-Pacific Regionalism and the Role of the EU

Wednesday, 26 April, 2017 - 14:30
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculty: Brussels Diplomatic Academy
Brussels Diplomatic Academy
Guest lecture


Geopolitical changes in the era of populist nationalism have energized the paradigm shift in international economic law and the multilateral trading system. The presentation focuses on recent developments in Asia-Pacific regionalism by examining the new trade initiatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, as well as the implications of EU trade policy.

First, the emerging New Regional Economic Order aligns with the global movement from the US-centric “unipolar moment” to multi-polar trade governance. Although Asia’s new economic powers prompted the Obama administration to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) under the pivot to Asia strategy, President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the TPP casts doubt on US Asia policy. Notably, the significance of EU in bridging North-South trade links is evidenced by the free trade agreements (FTAs) with Singapore and Vietnam, which collectively form the basis for the prospective ASEAN-EU FTA.

Second, the evolution of South-South trade cooperation in Asia has ascended to a new level and strengthened the multi-polar moment in the international economic order. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are the most ambitious initiatives currently launched by developing countries.  As innovative models for South-South FTAs, the AEC and the RCEP incorporate major Asia-Pacific powers and consolidate fragmented FTAs in the region. Hence, this presentation provides the most updated analysis of dynamic Asia-Pacific regionalism and new dimensions of the role of the EU.

Speaker Bio

Pasha L. Hsieh is an Associate Professor at the Singapore Management University School of Law. He holds Juris Doctor and LL.M. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was a Senior Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Prior to joining academia, he served as a Legal Affairs Officer at the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization and as an associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Hsieh’s teaching and research focus on public international law, international economic law and Asian legal studies. He is particularly interested in the roles of ASEAN and China in international law and cross-Taiwan Strait relations, and has published articles in the Journal of International Economic Law, the Journal of World Trade, the Michigan Journal of International Law, and the Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business. His works have been cited by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, the European Parliament and the OECD. Hsieh was awarded SMU’s Lee Foundation Fellowship for Research Excellence in 2010 and received the Most Outstanding LGST (Legal Studies) Teacher Award in 2015. He also co-convened the International Law Association-American Society of International Law Asia-Pacific Research Forum in 2015.