East Asia’s New Economic Agreement: RCEP, ASEAN Centrality and Global Trade Uncertainty


About the Webinar

ASEAN has managed to bring its free trade partners together into an East Asia-wide economic
agreement. The conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in
November in 2019 at a time of global turbulence that has only increased by the time RCEP has
come into force in 2022, is also a huge achievement of strategic significance in pushing back
against the threats to the multilateral system.

RCEP is the world’s largest regional pact in terms of GDP, trade volume, foreign direct investment
and population size. New market access and rules are locked in. Bringing RCEP into force is not
the end point, but the start of an elevated process of regional integration for ASEAN and its

This webinar will explore the prospects for RCEP to deepen economic cooperation and integration
in East Asia and the implications for ASEAN, Northeast Asia, the trans-Pacific and trans-Asian
economic and political relationships with the United States and India, and the multilateral trading
system and how it relates to other regional initiatives such as CPTPP and the proposed IndoPacific Economic Framework. The webinar launches the latest issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly
on East Asia’s Economic Agreement.

The webinar kicks off a new series on regional economic issues co-organised by the East Asian
Bureau of Economic Research at the Australian National University and the Regional Economic
Studies Programme at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.

About the Panel


Shiro Armstrong is an economist and Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He is Director of the Australia-Japan Research Centre, Editor of the East Asia Forum, and Director of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research at The Australian National University. He is also Visiting Professor at Keio University and Research Associate at the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at the Columbia Business School.


Mia Mikic is a trade economist with a keen interest in sustainable development and with a proven track record and experience in academia and international civil service. She is a Board member of the Friends of Multilateralism Group and of the Board of Advisors for the Trade Policy Research Forum. She is currently an Advisor at Large for the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an open network of research and academic institutions and think-tanks in the Asia-Pacific region. She is engaged as a Research Fellow at the Waikato Management School, The University of Waikato, New Zealand. Her current research and advisory work focus on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on trade and global value chains, frontier technologies, and inclusive future of work, advocating for women as influencers in policymaking, services trade, and promotion of evidence-based policymaking.

Jayant Menon is a Senior Fellow at ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. He joined the Institute in 2020 to continue his work on trade and development in the Asian region, following his early retirement from the ADB as 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 worked at several other academic institutions including 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. He has authored/edited 15 books, 40 chapters in books and 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Yose Rizal Damuri is Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta. His research activities focus on international trade, regional integration and globalization of value chain. He is active is several research and advisory networks both in Indonesia and in East Asia, such as Indonesia Service Dialogue (ISD) and Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT). Yose also teaches International Economics courses at the Faculty of Economics University of Indonesia. He received his PhD in International Economics from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI), Geneva, Switzerland.


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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May 18 2022


10:00 am - 11:15 am