Challenges Facing Agricultural Trade Between The Mekong Countries And China: Value Chain Analyses Focusing On Non-tariff Measures


About the Webinar

The economic prospects of Southeast Asia are increasingly intertwined with that of China through interdependencies from global value chains. For the riparian states of the Mekong region – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand (CLMV-T), agricultural trade has been playing an increasingly important role in shaping this relationship. The recent disruptions to food and commodity markets has seen some countries in the region resort to non-tariff measures (NTMs) such as export controls, placing agricultural trade policies in the limelight.

Against this backdrop, the webinar will discuss the findings from a recent ISEAS publication entitled Agricultural Trade between China and the Greater Mekong Subregion Countries: A Value Chain Analysis. The approach taken involves detailed case studies of key agricultural export commodities in the CLMV-T countries destined primarily for the Chinese market. The analyses seek to identify specific impediments along the value chain and the NTMs that interfere with cross-border trade. The webinar will provide an overview of all of the case studies and the policy issues that arise from them, and the detailed country case studies of Thailand (cassava and durian) and Vietnam (dragon fruit and coffee).

About the Speakers

Jayant Menon joined the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute as Senior Fellow to continue his work on trade and development in the Asian region, following his early retirement from the ADB in 2020. His last post at the ADB was Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist. He began work life as an academic in Australia, spending almost a decade at the Centre of Policy Studies at Monash University, one of the leading centres for computable general equilibrium modelling. He has also worked at the University of Melbourne, Victoria University, the American University in Washington, DC and the ADB Institute in Tokyo. He has served as a Board Director of CDRI, Cambodia, and on the Advisory Board of the University of Nottingham, Malaysia. He holds adjunct appointments with the Australian National University, University of Nottingham, UK and IDEAS, Malaysia.

Pham Minh Thai is Principal researcher at the Centre for Analysis and Forecasting (CAF) under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS). He obtained a MA in Development Economics (Vietnam-Netherlands Master in Development Economics Programme) in 2008 and a Ph.D. degree in Political Economics from Hanoi National University in 2018. His research focuses on labor market and trade. He has extensive experiences on both qualitative surveys such as focus group discussion/in-depth interviews and quantitative research with international publications in Children & Society Journal, Children and Youth Services Review and large numbers of Vietnamese Journals.

Punpreecha Bhuthong is a Senior Researcher in the International Economics and Development Policy Program at Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). He received a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include international trade and development, global/regional economic integration, and agricultural economics.

About the Discussants

Maria Monica Wihardja is a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, and a former World Bank Economist in the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice. In 2017, she was seconded to the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as a senior advisor to the Deputy Chief Staff in charge of strategic economic issues, where she oversaw the food policy reforms and stunting prevention agenda. From 2012 to 2014, she represented Indonesia at the Think20 meetings at the Los Cabos, Saint Petersburg and Brisbane G20 Summits. She also taught at the University of Indonesia from 2009 to 2013.Her main research topics are food security and agricultural reforms, jobs, and digital economy, as well as regional and global architecture. She has a PhD in Regional Science from Cornell University, a MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University, and a BA in Applied Mathematics-Economics from Brown University.

Elyssa Kaur Ludher is a Visiting Fellow with Climate Change for Southeast Asia, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. Prior to joining, Ms Ludher contributed to food policy research at the World Bank, Centre for Liveable Cities Singapore, and the Singapore Food Agency. She had served as the Singapore representative for Habitat III, and in Cambodia in rural development and education between 2007 to 2011.Ms Ludher has also published books on climate change, food security, water resilience, smart cities and urban governance. She has a double Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and Bioresource Engineering


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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Dec 14 2022


10:00 am - 12:00 pm