19 Jul 2017
[Lecture] The Past and Future of the Investment Chapter of the 'ASEAN+6' Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

As the East Asia Summit concluded in late November of 2012, regional leaders formally agreed to launch negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which aimed to be the largest free-trade bloc in the world, comprising all ten ASEAN nations and six other countries with which the group has free-trade agreements (FTAs) – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Following the Trump Administration’s withdrawal of US signature of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), China has been playing a greater role in finalising RCEP negotiations. However, as a collective middle power that remains signatory to the TPP, Australia and New Zealand do have potential to steer RCEP towards a combination of harder rules and more formal organizational features, rather than an arrangement with soft rules and informal organizational structures as expected by some political economists.

As a Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law at the University of
Sydney Law School, Dr Luke Nottage specialises in arbitration, contract law, consumer product safety law and corporate governance, with a particular interest in Japan and the Asia-Pacific. During his presentation, he succinctly outlined the investment treaty practice of Australia and New Zealand, especially their pioneering agreement with ASEAN in 2009 compared with the TPP and a draft of the RCEPʹs investment chapter leaked in 2015, before setting out some likely future directions for the region in light of broader trends world-wide.

As an organisation which aims to further the studies, research and development of international law, the Asian Academy of International Law (AAIL) lays special emphasis on the involvement of Asian countries as well as collaboration between practitioners and academia.