Tuesday, 24th March 2009
Co-sponsored by the Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University; the Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne and others TBA
This symposium explored the challenges posed by the rapid growth of preferential trade agreements in the Asia Pacific region; lessons from other regions and ideas for solutions; and the potential role for Australia in ‘multilateralising’ regionalism.
The symposium brought together trade policy experts from academia, business, government, and international organizations to examine the following questions: What is that state of preferential trade agreements in the Asia Pacific? How effective are they and what opportunities and challenges do they pose? What lessons can we learn from attempts elsewhere to limit the detrimental effects of PTAs? How can the noodle bowl of PTAs in the Asia Pacific be multilateralised? What role is there for the WTO and APEC in these processes? What role is there for Australia in supporting these efforts? How can the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations (involving Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Brunei and the United States) serve as a model for a wider exercise to multilateralise PTAs in the Asia Pacific region?
The day-long symposium was followed by a one hour high level briefing sessions to report the results of the seminar to representatives from business, government and the embassies.
The event was jointly organized by Professor Ann Capling (University of Melbourne) and Professor Andrew Macintyre (ANU).
Professor Baldwin talking with the Australian Trade Minister
Australian Trade Minister, speech here