8th Asian International Economic Law Network Conference at NTU on 1-2 December 2023
Chinese Taipei - 1 December 2023
The Asian Center for WTO & International Health Law and Policy (“ACWH”) of National Taiwan University (“NTU”) co-held the 8th Asian International Economic Law Network Conference (“AIELN”) at NTU on 1-2 December 2023. The seminar’s theme is “The New Generation of Economic Agreements in the Asia Pacific,” which gathered scholars from more than ten countries. Prof. Junji Nakagawa, AIELN’s chairperson , opened the conference, followed by Prof. Yueh-Ping (Alex) Yang, ACWH’s director and the local host of this event.
During the keynote speech session, Prof. Mark Wu, the Director of Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Harvard Law School Professor, delivered a speech on the topic of “The New Generation of Trade Agreements: Preliminary Observations,” illustrating the contemporary challenges faced with by trade agreements and asking the question “what is the goal of trade agreements,” which set the tone for the conference.
In session I, discussions centered on public health issues under international economic law. Moderated by Prof. Junji Nakagawa, Prof. Markus Wagner from the University of Wollongong first emphasized the importance of prioritizing food safety and food security in the future. Senior Researcher Fellow Daria Kim, who joined online, illustrated the international trend of regulating genetically modified foods. Prof. Tsung-Ling Lee from Taipei Medical University discussed how the government should avoid the spread of misinformation during the pandemic while ensuring freedom of speech.
After the lunch break, Prof. Tsai-fang Chen from National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University moderated Section II-1: Sustainability in International Economic Laws. Prof. Yetty Komalasari Dewi and Justin Alexander Halim from the University of Indonesia spoke about export restrictions as a tool to promote sustainable investment and downstream extractive industries. Prof. Stefanie Schacherer from Singapore Management University introduced limits and opportunities of international investment treaties in financing the net-zero transition. Finally, Rizky Banyualam Permana from the University of Indonesia explained the ASEAN way of facilitating trade and sustainable development.
In a parallel session moderated by Prof. Tsung-Ling Lee, Session II-2 focused on Public Policies in International Economic Laws. Mr. Luo Xia from the Chinese University of Hong Kong empirically analyzed the use of WTO safety valve measures in practice. Ms. Yi Tang from the University of Hong Kongempirically assessed the general public policy exceptions in international investment agreements. Dr. Xueji Su from the City University of Hong Kong analyzed the governance of dual-use goods in the context of WTO’s security exceptions. Ramita Iyer from the National University of Singapore discussed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and its progress.
Following Session II, Prof. Jaemin Lee from the Seoul National University moderated Section III-1: Dispute Settlement. Prof. Tsai-fang Chen from the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University examined the WTO's role in determining illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Prof. Lisa Toohey from the University of Newcastle analyzed WTO dispute settlement mechanism and arbitration model from the perspective of diversity. Mr. Mao-Wei Lo from Stanford University illustrated the application of external international legal rulings in investment arbitral awards. Prof. Meng (Mandy) Fang from City University of Hong Kong revisited the green industrial policy and its implications in international economic laws.
In a parallel session moderated by Prof. Ching-Wen Hsueh, Session III-2 focused on Contemporary Issues in International Economic Laws. Dr. Sungjin Kang from Kim & Chang delved into the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act's compliance with WTO laws. Mr. Noel Zher Ming Chow from Erasmus University of Rotterdam discussed professionalized trade compliance as ASEAN’s trade facilitation strategy. Prof. Ying-Jun Lin from Chung Yuan Christian University provided insights on how the Asia-Pacific is reshaping international trade governance. Dr. Xueji Su from the City University of Hong Kong analyzed how to classify and regulate cross-border subsidies.
After a short tea break, Prof. Lisa Toohey from the University of Newcastle moderated Session IV-1: Digital Economy. Prof. Jaemin Lee from the Seoul National University elaborated on the extraterritorial application of antitrust laws in the digital age. Prof. Kuei-Jung Ni from the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University discussed whether the CPTPP’s digital arrangements could serve as a role model for the WTO. Professor Ching-Wen Hsueh from the National Chengchi University examined how to integrate sustainable development goals in digital infrastructures into investment treaties or investment chapters.
In a parallel session IV-2 moderated by Prof. Pasha Hsieh from the Singapore Management University, Session IV-2 focused on International Investment. Prof. Nguyen Thi Anh Tho from the Hanoi Law University discussed developing countries’ reactions against corruption in investor-state arbitration and investment treaties. Prof. Yueming Yan from the Chinese University of Hong Kong illustrated the legal frameworks for anti-corruption cooperation in Asia. Prof. Francine Hug from the Chinese University of Hong Kong further elaborated on China’s role in international investment laws.
The second day of the conference started with the Session on Digital Trade and Finance in International Economic Laws moderated by Prof. Meredith Kolsky Lewis from the University at Buffalo. Prof. Weixia Gu from the University of Hong Kong addressed China’s recognition and enforcement of foreign securities judgments against overseas-listed Chinese companies. Prof. Rolf H. Weber from Zurich University discussed the public policy objectives of financial inclusion within the legal framework of The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Prof. Shailja Singh from the Indian Institution of Foreign Trade discussed standardization regarding critical and emerging technology (CET).
In the last session on Asia in International Economic Laws moderated by Prof. Markus Wagner from the University of Wollongong, Prof. Nakagawa from the University of Chuo Gakuin delved into the labor provisions in regional trade agreements involving Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. Prof. Pasha Hsieh from the Singapore Management University discussed the concept of green regionalism in the Asia-Pacific region. Prof. Meredith Kolsky Lewis from the University at Buffalo overviewed plurilateral negotiations in the Asia-Pacific Region. Prof. Trang (Mae) Nguyen from the University of Temple offered a unique perspective on the contemporary development of the global supply chain featuring a “global company town” in international trade.
In concluding remarks, Prof. Markus Wagner, Executive Vice-President of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) and Prof. Junji Nakagawa, Chairman of AIELN, extended their appreciation to ACWH’s assistants and acknowledged the contributions made by all participants. ACWH’s Director Yueh-Ping (Alex) Yang finally expressed his gratitude for the chance to host the 8th AIELN and thanked all attendees for their participation and the active exchange of ideas during the conference. The conference was concluded with joy.