Non-Tariff Measures in ASEAN: Is Protectionism on the Rise?

About the Seminar

The 21st century suggests a somewhat vexing scenario of ‘new protectionism’, especially with the rise of restrictive non-tariff measures or NTMs. This largely refers to standard-like NTMs with a dual purpose of non-trade policy objectives and (hidden/concealed) protectionism. Since ASEAN is a high user of standard-like NTMs relative to other measures, this raises the question if there is an intentional shift towards murky protectionism in the region. Grounded on a few criteria to establish potential protectionism, the research presented in this seminar discusses the plausibility of “hidden” barriers in the standard-like NTMs based on related secondary data, and specific illustrative cases of harmful and burdensome NTMs in the individual ASEAN countries. From the narrative experiences of ASEAN, it is inferred that procedural obstacles directly associated with reported standard-like NTMs, instead of the NTMs themselves, account for the “hidden” barriers in ASEAN. The research concludes that regardless of the motivation for the barriers, whether unintentional or intentional with a protectionist agenda, procedural obstacles deserve attention in their own right as potential barriers to trade in ASEAN.

About the Speaker

Evelyn S. Devadason is Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya. Her research focuses on international trade and regional integration. Her research work has seen print in international journals such as the World Development, The China Review, India Review, The Pacific Review, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of International Development, Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Asian Economic Journal, Global Economic Review, Singapore Economic Review, among others. She currently serves as an Associate Editor to the International Journal of Social Economics and a member to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Contemporary Asia. She has been engaged in a number of international research projects, including the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions-Asian and Pacific Regional Organization (ICFTU-APRO), Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, Economic Research Institute of East Asia-United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (ERIA-UNCTAD), Food Industry Asia (FIA), United Nations Environment Programme-Denmark Technical University (UNEP-DTU) and more recently, the European Union H2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme on Competing Regional Integration in Southeast Asia (CRISEA).


For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 26 August 2019.


Aug 27 2019


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2