Lecture: US-ASEAN Relations on the Eve of the Sunnylands Summit

 

ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE

ABOUT THE LECTURE

The upcoming and unprecedented Sunnylands Summit between President Obama and ASEAN leaders signals the deepening attention and engagement of the United States in ASEAN and Southeast Asia. ASEAN’s role in the South China Sea, its Economic Community, role in regional multilateral organizations, place in wider U.S. Asia-Pacific policies and relations with a fast-changing region are key issues of interest. ASEAN and its member countries also have been at the center of the “key lines of action” articulated in the Obama Administration’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. And yet, there are numerous questions about how fast and how far U.S.-ASEAN relations can progress and whether or not the progress in relations can be sustained and further advanced in the next administration. This lecture will provide one American perspective on U.S. debates and structural trends in relations with ASEAN.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Satu Limaye was named Director of the East-West Center in Washington in February 2007. Dr Limaye is also a Senior Advisor at the CNA Corporation, a non- profit research and analysis organization located in Alexandria, VA. He is the creator and director of the Asia Matters for America initiative, an interactive resource for credible, non-partisan information, graphics, analysis and news on US-Asia Pacific relations and the national, state and local levels, Founding Editor of the Asia-Pacific Bulletin series, an editor of the journal Global Asia and on the international advisory council of the journal Contemporary Southeast Asia. He is also on the advisory council for the ASEAN Studies Center at American University and the International Forum for Democratic Studies’ Research Council. He publishes and speaks on U.S.-Asia relations and is a reviewer for numerous publications, foundations and fellowship programs. From October 2005 to February 2007 he was a Research Staff Member of the Strategy and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and from July 1998 to October 2005 Director of Research and Publications at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), a direct reporting unit of U.S. Pacific Command. He has been an Abe Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy and a Henry Luce Scholar and Research Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) in Tokyo. He is a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar.

REGISTRATION

For registration, please fill in form this form and email to ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 1 February 2016.

 

Lecture: ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 and Mega-FTAs: Implication for Development Strategies in the New Era

 

ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE


ABOUT THE LECTURE

ASEAN has been a pioneer for implementing an innovative development strategy in which the mechanics of production networks or the second unbundling has aggressively been exploited.  Beginning with slow global value chains, countries start linking with fast and well-coordinated international production networks and then initiate forming industrial agglomeration in which local firms take part in the vertical division of labor with multinationals and take advantage of technology transfer and spillover to activate process innovation.  For some advanced countries, the creation of innovation hubs for active product innovation became an immediate challenge.
In this context, four pillars of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2015 together with the effort of enhancing connectivity have greatly contributed to the development of links with production networks by latecomers and the narrowing of geographical development gaps.  ASEAN should now focus more on policy efforts for forming industrial agglomerations and innovation hubs in order to not only narrow industrial development gaps but, nurture and attract intellectual human resources.  From this viewpoint, AEC Blueprint 2025 will be reviewed and evaluated.

In addition, potential impacts of mega-FTAs including Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on ASEAN will also be discussed.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Fukunari Kimura has been Professor, Faculty of Economics, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan since 2000 and also the Dean, Graduate School of Economics, Keio University since 2015.  He is also Chief Economist, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Jakarta, Indonesia since 2008.  He serves as a co-editor of the Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.  He was born in Tokyo in 1958 and received his Bachelor of Laws from the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo in 1982, Master of Science and Ph.D. from the Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990 and 1991.  He worked for the International Development Center of Japan as Researcher in 1982-1986, the Department of Economics, State University of New York at Albany as Assistant Professor in 1991-1994, and the Faculty of Economics, Keio University as Associate Professor in 1994-2000.  His major is international trade and development economics.  In particular, he has recently been active in writing academic/semi-academic books and articles on international production networks and economic integration in East Asia.

REGISTRATION

For registration, please fill in this form and email to ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 21 January 2016.

 

Lecture: ASEAN’s Focus and Priorities in 2016: Preview of Lao PDR’s Chairmanship

 

ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE


ABOUT THE LECTURE

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.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

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.

REGISTRATION
For registration, please fill in this form and email to ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 17 December 2015.

 

ASEAN Lecture Series: Post-2015 Vision for the ASEAN Community

 

ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE


ABOUT THE LECTURE

On 31 December this year, ASEAN will officially declare the formation of a community. Nevertheless, work on the ASEAN Community will continue and the ASEAN Leaders are expected to adopt the recommendations of the High Level Task Force on the Post-2015 Vision for the ASEAN Community to drive the community-building process forward. What are ASEAN’s trajectory and plans for the further deepening of the ASEAN Community? Will the Post-2015 Vision be enough to help ASEAN keep pace with the rapid global developments? How will the ASEAN Community impact the region’s relationships with the other countries that have a strong presence in the region? This lecture will feature insights and assessments of ASEAN’s strategic vision and priority areas for the next phase of community-building. Both speakers, Ambassadors Sihasak Phuangketkeow and Ong Keng Yong served on the High Level Task Force and will share with us their views on ASEAN’s vision for the immediate future.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow is Ambassador at the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. He was previously Permanent Secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had also served at the Thai Embassies in Washington DC and Tokyo, and as Thailand’s Consul-General in Hong Kong. In 2007, he became Thailand’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva. Between 2010 and 2011, he was President of the United Nations Human Rights Council. He has also been an active contributor to the work of ASEAN, serving as Thailand’s Senior Officials Meeting Leader to ASEAN in 2006-7, and again since 2011. He was also Chair of the High-Level Panel on an ASEAN Human Rights Body that drafted the Terms of Reference establishing the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong is Executive Deputy Chairman of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also Ambassador-at-Large at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, non-resident High Commissioner to Pakistan, and non-resident Ambassador to Iran. Mr Ong also serves as Chairman of the Singapore International Foundation. Mr Ong was High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia from 2011 to 2014, and served as Secretary-General of ASEAN, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, between 2003 and 2008. Mr Ong holds a LLB (Hons) from the then University of Singapore and a MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, USA.

REGISTRATION

For registration, please fill in this form and email to ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 30 November 2015.

 

Seminar: Tackling the Haze Issue in Southeast Asia: Domestic and Regional Approaches

 

ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE

ABOUT THE SEMINAR

The forest fires in parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan have created thick smoke which have engulfed not only parts of Indonesia, but also Singapore and parts of Malaysia. The fires, which have been going on for the last two months, threaten to be the worst regional haze in recent memory, surpassing levels seen during the haze that affected the region in 1997. The haze has impacted normal life in all three countries, which have seen school closures and sharp rises in reports of haze-related illnesses. Not only is there growing tension directed at Indonesia’s perceived lack of effective response, but ASEAN’s abilities to strengthen regional cooperation and resolve transboundary differences have also come under question. The signing of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboudary Haze Pollution (AATHP) in 2002, and Indonesia’s eventual ratification of that agreement in 2014, have yet to produce tangible results in tackling the perennial haze. This seminar will discuss the cause and effect of the haze, and analyse the national and regional approaches to better manage and contain the haze issue.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Mr Chua Chin Wei is currently with Advanced Metal Tradings (AMT) as a trader for metals and minerals. From 2011 to February 2015, Mr Chua served as Deputy Director and Fellow (Environment and Resources) at the Singapore Institute for International Affairs (SIIA). At SIIA, he established networks with a broad range of sectors including palm oil, wood pulp and NGOs. He has also assessed the various responses and measures to tackle the haze issue, as part of the SIIA’s Informal Haze Dialogue. Prior to his SIIA stint, Mr Chua was Divisional Director leading the Metals team at IE Singapore. He had also worked closely with MTI and MOF along with agencies such as EDB, MAS IRAS, STB, Contact Singapore and industry secretariats to engage the industry in a holistic manner. In the early part of his career, Mr Chua was a Trade Policy Officer with the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry specializing in China.


Dr Jonatan A Lassa
is Research Fellow with the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, where he researches on food and environmental security issues. Prior to joining the Centre for NTS Studies, Dr Lassa was a Senior Research Fellow with the Institute of Resource Governance and Social Change (IRGSC). He was previously a Researcher with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn and an Indonesia postdoctoral fellow at Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School. In his professional career, he has also worked with the UN, international NGOs and the private sector. Dr Lassa holds a PhD from the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Bonn, Germany.

Dr Helena Varkkey is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Department of International and Strategic Studies, University of Malaya. Dr Varkkey has been interested in sustainable development throughout her academic career. Her interest in the field has evolved to focus on transboundary pollution in Southeast Asia, particularly pertaining to the role of patronage in agribusiness, especially the oil palm industry, and its link to forest fires and haze in the region. Dr Varkkey shares her academic musings on this topic, with a blog titled “The Forests for the Palms”. Dr Varkkey holds a PhD from the Department of Government and International at the University of Sydney, Australia.

REGISTRATION

For registration, please fill in this form and email to ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 9 Nov 2015.

 

ASEAN Lecture Series: ASEAN-China Relations: Dispelling Misconceptions and Enhancing Understanding

 

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.


REGISTRATION

To register, please complete this reply form and return it by fax: 6775-6264 or email: ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 3 November 2015.

Please note: The event has been changed to 3.00 pm – 4.30 pm. 

 

Seminar: ASEAN Economic Community and Need for Managing Domestic Consensus Beyond 2015

 


ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE &
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME SEMINAR

 

ABOUT THE SEMINAR

 

In another three months, the ten Southeast Asian economies are going to announce the establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC aims to be an integrated market and production base with free movement of goods, services, freer flow of capital, and skilled labour. However, member economies are still a long way from achieving an integrated production space as they have not yet fulfilled all the stipulated targets stated in the AEC Blueprint. A possible explanation for the current state of economic integration is the presence of conflicting domestic economic interests in member countries. There are different dynamics in the ten domestic economies. This seminar, using illustrations from six selected ASEAN economies, describes the type and nature of conflicts in domestic economies. The seminar will provide policy recommendations for AEC beyond 2015.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

 

Tham Siew Yean is a Professor in International Trade and Deputy Director at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Her research and publications focus on trade, ASEAN, foreign direct investment, manufacturing and services developments. She is also a consultant for international agencies, such as World Bank, World Bank Institute, Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Bank Institute and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). Her most recent publication includes co-editing with Sanchita Basu, a special issue of Journal of Southeast Asian Economies (JSEAS), on “Managing Domestic Consensus For ASEAN Economic Community Beyond 2015”, August, 2015.

Sanchita Basu Das is a Fellow and Lead Researcher (Economics) at the ASEAN Studies Centre and the Coordinator of the Singapore APEC Study Centre, both based in the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. She is also a co-editor of the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. Prior to joining the Institute in 2005, she has worked in the private sector as an economist in India and Singapore. Sanchita is the author/editor of several books, special editor of three journal issues and author of numerous book chapters and policy papers. Sanchita’s research interests include – Economic Integration in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Region; Regionalism and Economic Development; Macro-economic Issues in Southeast Asia.

 

ABOUT THE DISCUSSANT

 

Ponciano Intal, Jr. is a Senior Economist at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr Intal has been the lead coordinator of a number of ASEAN projects in ERIA, including ASEAN RISING: ASEAN and AEC beyond 2015; the Mid-Term Review of the Implementation of the AEC Blueprint; and the AEC Scorecard monitoring project. Prior to joining ERIA in July 2009, Dr Intal was a Full Professor at the Economics Department and a University Fellow of De La Salle University- Manila. Concurrently, he served as the Executive Director of the DLSU-Angelo King Institute for Economic and Business Studies (AKI).   He also served as President of Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) from 1991 to 1998 and as Deputy Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) of the Philippine government from 1988 to 1991. Dr Intal’s research interest includes Philippine and international economic issues of trade, environment, development cooperation, and regional integration.

REGISTRATION

To register, please complete this reply form and return it by fax: 6775-6264 or email: ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 23 September 2015.

 

 

ASEAN Lecture Series: Japan’s “New” Approaches to Southeast Asia

 


ASEAN LECTURE SERIES

 


ABOUT THE LECTURE

Japan has a long-standing presence in Southeast Asia and is a key ASEAN Dialogue Partner.  It is the region’s largest provider of foreign direct investment, second only to the EU28 states.  Nevertheless, Japan labours under a perception playing catch up to China in the wake of the latter’s charm diplomacy and Beijing’s economic ascendancy.  In response, the Abe Administration has given increased priority to Southeast Asia in an effort to booster Japan’s regional economic, political-security and diplomatic presence.  What are these new initiatives designed to cultivate new strategic relations and strengthen existing bonds?  What is the impetus driving Japan’s increased profile in the Mekong 5 countries? What security role could Japan realistically expect to undertake in the region given its domestic legal and cultural constrains?

 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Hitoshi Tanaka is the Chairman of the Institute for International Strategy at the Japan Research Institute, Ltd. He has also been a Senior Fellow at the Japan Center for International Exchange and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo after retiring from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 2005 as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. In the Foreign Ministry Mr. Tanaka held various posts which include Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau (2001–02) and the Economic Affairs Bureau (2000–01); Consul-General in San Francisco (1998–2000); and Deputy Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau (1996–98). Mr. Tanaka holds a B.A. in law from Kyoto University and B.A./M.A. in PPE from Oxford University. He writes various articles both in Japanese and English including East Asia Insights.

REGISTRATION

To register, please complete this reply form and return it by fax: 6775-6264 or email: ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 22 September 2015.

 

ASEAN Roundtable 2015 – ASEAN Community 2015: Expectations and Realities

 


ASEAN ROUNDTABLE 2015

 

ASEAN COMMUNITY 2015: EXPECTATIONS AND REALITIES

ASEAN will announce an integrated community by the end of 2015.  This announcement is the culmination of regional integration efforts since the elaboration of the ASEAN Vision 2020 statement in 1997.  The success of the ASEAN Community is premised upon how regional collaboration will link together the different aspirations in the political, economic and social spheres, which ASEAN has named the ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).

With the date for announcing this integrated community imminently approaching, it is timely to “look back to look forward” by seeking the views and suggestions of persons and entities deeply involved in the ASEAN community-building process through its successive stages.

  • ASEAN’s push for expansion of ASEAN membership, and the enunciation of the ASEAN Vision 2020 for a seamless and connected community of nations in Southeast Asia;
  • The measures undertaken by ASEAN in the financial and economic sectors to remain relevant and recover from the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis that swept through the region;
  • The decision to move for a more rules-based and coherent organization, by revisiting a long-standing proposal for the ASEAN Charter, and the subsequent moves to address human rights issues relevant to regional cooperation, and engage in a more meaningful way with civil society in the region;
  • The different challenges posed to ASEAN’s central role and the tensions of maintaining ASEAN’s unity of purpose at the regional level with individual (national) interests of each ASEAN member state; and
  • The emerging cross-cutting priorities that require ASEAN integration – especially regional economic integration – to be contextualized and communicated as a coordinated exercise.

The ASEAN Roundtable 2015 will 1) provide an update on the issues surrounding ASEAN’s community-building goals beyond 2015; and 2) bring together different perspectives on, and discuss ways and means of addressing these cross-cutting priorities as well as the implications of pursuing these priorities.

Key discussions and recommendations from the Roundtable will be synthesized into a policy-relevant monograph.

Panelists and participants envisaged for this year’s Roundtable include past and present Secretaries-General of ASEAN[1], and a representative mix of policy, business and research expertise dealing with different aspects of ASEAN cooperation.

The Roundtable is supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

View Latest Programme

[1] These are the Secretaries-General who have been accorded the rank of minister and the expanded role and responsibilities to represent and coordinate ASEAN cooperation, as determined in 1992. 

Registration has closed.

 

 

Seminar: Awareness and Attitudes towards ASEAN: Updated Findings from a Ten-Nation Survey of University Students in ASEAN

 

 

ABOUT THE SEMINAR

The ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute will organise a seminar to share the findings from an update of a survey on undergraduates’ awareness of and attitudes towards ASEAN.  The seminar is held in conjunction with the 48th ASEAN Day reception hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

The findings are an update of a first survey undertaken in 2007 among university undergraduates in the ten ASEAN member states. The updated survey, which was carried out in 2014-15 among the same target population, has an expanded scope in measuring several dimensions of students’ knowledge about and orientations towards ASEAN.  Preliminary findings have highlighted that overall, there are more ASEAN-positive attitudes among young educated citizens in the region.

Dr Eric Thompson, the project’s lead investigator will present key findings of the updated survey, including findings on a nation-by-nation basis and a general summary of region-wide trends and what they suggest for the prospects of ASEAN integration beyond 2015.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Eric C. Thompson is Associate Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. Before joining NUS, he completed a PhD in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Washington and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of California Los Angeles.

Eric teaches anthropology, gender studies, urban studies and research methods. He has conducted research for over two decades throughout Southeast Asia, primarily in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. His research interests include transnational networking, gender studies, urbanism, culture theory, and ASEAN regionalism.

His work has appeared in journals such as American Ethnologist, Asian Studies Review, Citizenship Studies, Contemporary Sociology, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Field Methods, Gender Place and Culture, Global Networks, Political Geography, Urban Studies, and Women’s Studies International Forum among others. He is author of Unsettling Absences: Urbanism in Rural Malaysia (NUS Press, 2007) and Attitudes and Awareness toward ASEAN: Findings of a Ten-Nation Survey (with Chulanee Thianthai, ISEAS, 2008).

 

PROGRAMME

4.00 pm:          Registration

4.30 pm:          Opening Remarks by Mr Tan Chin Tiong, Director, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

4.35 pm:          Presentation of Survey Update Findings by Dr Eric C. Thompson, Project Lead Investigator

5.15 pm:          Q & A

6.00 pm:          End of Seminar

REGISTRATION

This event is open for registration on a first-come, first-served basis.

Admission to the seminar will be taken as confirmed upon receiving written acceptance from the Institute.

To register, please complete this form and return it by fax: 6775-6264 or email: moe@iseas.edu.sg or ascevents@iseas.edu.sg by 12 noon on Monday, 24 August 2015.