The Evolving IPEF: Update and Perspectives from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand


About the Hybrid Seminar

In a bid to re-engage economically with the region, United States President Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) in Tokyo on 23 May 2022. Seven ASEAN countries (excluding the newest members) and seven other countries from the Indo-Pacific region have signed up. IPEF is not an FTA or a traditional trade agreement but more of a framework for setting rules and standards. The much-awaited return of the US to the region as an economic partner was met with great expectations, and standards by which IPEF is judged were set accordingly high, also leaving a lot of room for disappointment. Nevertheless, a positive start has been made with the conclusion of negotiations on a Supply Chain Agreement announced in Detroit in May 2023. This seminar will provide an overview of IPEF and its evolution, and consider perspectives from three ASEAN members: Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. It will focus on what these countries perceive as potential benefits and challenges in the agreement and how it might evolve to serve individual and collective interests.

About the Speakers

Ramita Iyer is a Research Analyst at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore. Her research focus is on geoeconomic and geopolitical developments in the Indo-Pacific region. She also manages ISAS’ weekly podcast, South Asia Chat. Prior to joining ISAS, Ms Iyer worked with a number of Indian and international organisations on public policy issues including global health policies for transwomen, education and skill development, among others. She was also a Consulting Editor at Alexis Foundation, India. Ms Iyer graduated with a Master in International Affairs from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science from Delhi University.

Dr 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, a leading centre 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. He has authored/edited 15 books, 40 chapters in books and 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Kaewkamol “Karen” Pitakdumrongkit is a Head of the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research, USA. Her research interests include international economic negotiation, Indo-Pacific governance and integration, regional-global economic governance dynamics, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN’s external relations (ASEAN-Plus frameworks). She has published in various outlets such as Asia-Pacific Bulletin, Australian Journal of International Affairs, Australian Outlook, The Diplomat, East Asia Forum, Eurasia Review, Global Asia, The International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, The Pacific Review, Review of International Political Economy, and The Singapore Economic Review. Her media interviews include Bangkok Post, Bloomberg, Business Times, Channel News Asia, CNBC Asia-Pacific, New Straits Times, The Nation, The Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Xinhua.

Dr Siwage Dharma Negara is Co-Coordinator for the Indonesia Studies Programme and Coordinator for the Singapore APEC Study Centre at the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute. He is an editorial member of the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. His research focuses on macroeconomic and development issues, industrial and trade policies with a special focus on Indonesia. Before joining the institute, he worked as a researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and economist consultant for the World Bank Office Jakarta. He received his PhD (Economics) from the University of Melbourne, Australia.


This is a hybrid event which will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).

Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS

To join the event in-person at ISEAS, please register via the ISEAS mobile app, available on iOS and Android via the Apple or Play store. Search “ISEAS” to find or scan this QR code.

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Seating capacity is limited. Do register early to avoid disappointment.

Attending the Event Virtually via Webinar

To join the event virtually at the specified date and time using your internet devices, please register here to receive your unique login link for the webinar via the zoom platform.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Jul 04 2023


10:00 am - 12:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2 / Webinar