About the LectureAt its mid-century mark, ASEAN finds itself in need of a dose of fresh ideas to rejuvenate the regional project and its economic rationale for regional stability. ASEAN’s trajectory inevitably finds an overlap with that of one of its founding members and a key proponent of regional responses to global challenges: Indonesia. Indonesia is – and has always been – a key node in ASEAN’s axis. But Indonesia’s commitment to, and efforts for, its ASEAN priorities has not lingered in discussions within or outside the country in recent years. This ASEAN Lecture will hear a perspective on some of Indonesia's core rationale for its ASEAN engagement and on how Indonesia has responded to, and promoted changes in ASEAN, and worked within ASEAN to respond to regional and global changes.
About the SpeakerDr Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa, former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia, is currently an Asia Society Policy Institute Distinguished Fellow. Dr Natalegawa’s distinguished career in foreign affairs spans various appointments at home and abroad since 1986, including Director-General for ASEAN Cooperation, Chief of Staff of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations in New York, and Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Court of St. James and to Ireland. Dr Natalegawa earned his Doctor of Philosophy from The Australian National University, a Master of Philosophy from Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Foreign Policy has included Dr Natalegawa among its 2013 list of 500 most influential individuals.
ASEAN LECTURE SERIES
About the Lecture
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has gained significant attention as a pathway for pan-Asian economic integration, especially in light of the uncertainties facing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). RCEP was initiated by ASEAN in late 2011 to bring together ASEAN member states and six of their Dialogue Partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – in a collaborative framework towards a comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement that is both WTO-consistent and transparent. RCEP also aspires to improve on the existing ASEAN+1 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) while covering regular trade issues of goods, services, investment, intellectual property, competition policy, technical cooperation and dispute settlement mechanisms. The guiding principles of RCEP, as endorsed in 2012, take into consideration the different levels of development among the members, which raises concerns over the quality of the agreement when completed. Although negotiations were launched in May 2013, little of the discussions has found its way into the public domain. This lecture will discuss the progress and challenges in RCEP negotiations thus far, as well as providing some insights on the depth and expanse of the agreement and the anticipated date of concluding the negotiations.
About the Speaker
Mr. Iman Pambagyo is Director-General for International Trade Negotiations at the Ministry of Trade, Republic of Indonesia. He has been Chairman of the Trade Negotiating Committee of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) since 2012 and Chief Negotiator for the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement since 2016. Prior to his appointment as Director-General, Mr Pambagyo was Special Staff to Minister on Priority Global Trade Policy, and served as Indonesian Ambassador to WTO from 2014 to 2015. Having worked on trade diplomacy and negotiations area, Mr Pambagyo was the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) Leader for Indonesia from 2007 to 2014 and Indonesia’s Chief Negotiator and Trade Representative at various bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Mr Pambagyo studied International Relations at University of Gadjah Mada, Jogjakarta and earned his Masters degree in International Politics from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.
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ASEAN LECTURE SERIES
About the Lecture
The Philippines will officially assume the ASEAN Chairmanship on 1 January 2017. In that year, ASEAN will also celebrate its 50th anniversary – a milestone event reflecting its successes and achievements in the past five decades as well as to prepare itself for the new challenges ahead in the region. While the Philippines is fully committed to realizing a rules-based, people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN community, it intends to introduce important initiatives that will significantly advance ASEAN community-building, promote inclusive and innovation-led growth; highlight ASEAN’s resilience; advance maritime security and cooperation; contribute to regional peace, security and stability; and showcase ASEAN as a model of regionalism and a global player.
About the Speaker
His Excellency Enrique A. Manalo is Undersecretary for Policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines. In this capacity, he will be the Philippines’ ASEAN SOM Leader as the country chairs ASEAN in 2017. Mr. Manalo is a distinguished career diplomat, having served in the Philippines’ missions in Geneva, New York, Brussels, and London. Prior to his appointment as Undersecretary, Mr. Manalo was the ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2016. He was the Philippines’ Sherpa for the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, and co-led negotiations with the EU for the Philippines-EU Partnership Cooperation Agreement. This will be the second time Mr. Manalo serves as the Philippines’ ASEAN SOM Leader, having previously done so the last time the Philippines chaired ASEAN in 2007. Mr. Manalo earned his BA and MA degrees in Economics from the University of the Philippines.
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AEC Panel Discussion
The ASEAN Community was inaugurated on 31 December 2015, marking a major milestone in the regional organisation’s history. Understandably so, it was the economic component of the Community that garnered the most attention. In fact, expectations were high in the run-up to the historic proclamation. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) still have a long way to go toward achieving its goals of “free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital.” While tariffs have been lowered, and in a range of products, removed entirely, AEC continues to grapple with issues such as simplifying customs procedure, harmonising standards, poor connectivity and narrowing the development gap. ASEAN has also been criticised with its top-down approach and limited consultation with the private sector and stakeholders. This seminar will examine existing ASEAN mechanisms for government-private engagement and consultation. It will also discuss the experiences of European multinationals in doing business in the region and analyse their engagement strategies with the public sector.
Chris Humphrey is the Executive Director of the EU-ASEAN Business Council. A business development and government relations professional with more than a decade of experience running business units throughout Asia, Chris began his varied professional career as a UK Civil Servant where he was Private Secretary to a Minister and an Air Services Trade Negotiator covering the Asia Pacific Region. Chris then moved to the private sector, working initially in the government and external relations teams at two British airlines before moving to Shanghai, China with Virgin Atlantic, where he headed up the airline’s China operation and oversaw the rapid expansion of their business in China. After a short spell in Hong Kong with Virgin, Chris then joined a UK-based security and defence group where he led their Asia-Pacific team for over five years and was instrumental in them getting contracts with the Japanese and Singapore Governments and also with SOEs in China.
Alexander C. Chandra is an Associate Fellow at the Habibie Centre, Jakarta (ASEAN Studies Program). Prior to joining the Habibie Centre, Alex was the Executive Director of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (A-BAC), an official private sector body of ASEAN. Chandra has obtained his PhD in Southeast Asian Studies, with a specialisation in political economy of ASEAN integration, from the University of Hull, UK, in 2004. His key interests are the political economy of Southeast and East Asian regionalism, international trade, democratic governance and the role of civil-society in policy-making.
Sanchita Basu Das is ISEAS Fellow and Lead Researcher (Economics) at the ASEAN Studies Centre, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS). She also serves as the Coordinator for the Singapore APEC Study Centre and Co-Editor of the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. Prior to joining ISEAS in 2005, she was an economist in the private sector involved in infrastructure consulting, manufacturing and banking. Sanchita holds an MBA from the National University of Singapore, and an MA from the Delhi School of Economics, India. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in International Political Economy at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She has authored and edited numerous books and book chapters, policy papers and opinion articles. Her research interests include - economic regionalism in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Region; international trade; and economic development issues like connectivity.
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The recently-concluded 27th ASEAN Summit witnessed the signing of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the establishment of the ASEAN Community. In addition to agreeing to declare the establishment of the ASEAN Community on 31 December 2015, the member states also affirmed their commitment to implement the ASEAN 2025 Agenda. The member states also saw Malaysia passing on the ASEAN chairmanship baton to Lao PDR at the summit. While Laos is gearing up to welcome an exciting year of summits and high level meetings, there are doubts on whether the momentum towards building a more cohesive and integrated ASEAN, accumulated over the past decades, will continue in this next phase of community building. Questions have arisen, among others, as to ASEAN’s continued ability to manage internal conflicts as well as the regional balance of power, the feasibility of the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ever-elusive common ASEAN identity.
What will be Lao PDR’s priorities and goals of community building? What can ASEAN member states expect from its chairmanship? What will Lao PDR’s contribution be in promoting peace, stability and development in the region? This lecture will provide a preview of Lao PDR’s goals and priorities for ASEAN in 2016 under its chairmanship.
Ambassador Yong Chanthalangsy is the Director-General of the Institute of Foreign Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR and the Chair of the ASEAN Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS) network. He was also formerly Lao Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
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ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE
ABOUT THE LECTURE
China shares an extensive and complex relationship with Southeast Asia. It is the region’s largest trade partner and is one of ASEAN’s key Dialogue Partners. While the foundation of ASEAN-China relations remains strong, it is not immune to occasional trials and tribulations. Questions arising from China’s phenomenal rise are compounded by the uncertainty surrounding the trajectory and approach of the region’s largest economy toward ASEAN. Together, these questions form a blemish in an otherwise fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship, and inadvertently sow the seeds of misunderstanding. Nevertheless, there is a consensus that ASEAN-China relations look set to expand in both depth and scope with the development of new areas of cooperation. New initiatives such as the “One Belt and One Road,” the proposed Treaty of Good Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation, and efforts to upgrade the ASEAN-China FTA, will all provide new impetuses to drive the relationship forward. Will these initiatives succeed in quelling suspicions about China strategic intentions? How does the looming conflict in the South China Sea factor in China’s approach to ASEAN? This lecture will clarify China’s strategic interests and priorities in Southeast Asia, and feature expert insights on the Chinese government’s initiatives to further promote the vibrant bilateral ties between China and the region.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Professor Zhu Feng is the Executive Director of the China Center for Collaborative Studies of the South China Sea, and Professor of International Relations at Nanjing University. He was formerly Deputy Director of the Center for International & Strategic Studies and Professor in the School of International Studies at Peking University. Professor Zhu specialises in East Asian regional security, power relations, and maritime security in the Asia-Pacific, and North Korea’s nuclear proliferation issue. His most recent book is America, China, and the Struggle for World Order: Ideas, Traditions, Historical Legacies, and Global Visions (co-edited with G. John Ikenberry and Wang Jisi, Palgrave Macmillan, July 2015). Professor Zhu began his undergraduate studies at the Department of International Politics at Peking University in 1981, and received his PhD from Peking University in 1991.
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Please note: The event has been changed to 3.00 pm - 4.30 pm.
ASEAN LECTURE SERIES