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Regional and Inter-Regional Economic Cooperation: Identifying Priorities for ASEAN and the EU

25 & 26 July 2018 • Day 1: 9am-5pm, Day 2: 9am-3.30pm • Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya

ASEAN-EU Dialogue 2018

Introduction

This conference aims to explore issues of regional and inter-regional economic integration, and discuss possible solutions guided by distinct regional experiences and regional comparatives. Based on the theme of “Regional and Inter-Regional Economic Cooperation: Identifying Priorities for ASEAN and the EU”, presenters will include academics, policy-makers and government representatives from ASEAN and the EU, with one keynote speaker from each region. In bringing together scholars, experts and officials from both Asia and Europe, the conference will contribute to an important dialogue advocating for mutual learning on regional integration approaches championed by ASEAN and the EU.

The two-day event consists of 4 panel sessions that will evaluate contributions to regionalism and regionalisation according to a specific sub-theme. For every sub-theme, invited speakers will present views from Malaysia, ASEAN and the EU, and finally round up the discussion with a comparative perspective.

Tentative Programme

Day 1: 25 July 2018 (Wednesday)

8.30 am Registration
9.00 am
Welcoming Address by Prof. Dr. Azirah Hashim, Executive Director, Asia-Europe Institute
9.10 am Opening Keynote - “Economic Integration - The EU Experience” 
Speaker: H.E. Maria Castillo-Fernandez, Ambassador & Head of the European Union Delegation to Malaysia
Moderator: Ambassador (R) Dato’ M. Redzuan Kushairi
10.10 am Launching of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence by H.E. Maria Castillo-Fernandez, Ambassador & Head of the European Union Delegation to Malaysia
10.20 am Coffee Break
11.00am Panel 1: Trade Liberalisation
Free trade proponents argue that trade liberalisation is important not only because it lowers consumer costs and broadens available goods and services, but increased competition also increases efficiency and fosters economic growth. However, it has also been argued that trade liberalisation has cost local jobs due to outsourcing and competition from cheaper imported goods. Trade liberalisation has also been linked to various other problems such as the growing monopoly of large conglomerates and the crowding out of local industries especially of small and medium enterprises (SME). This has led to an increasing gap between the rich and poor as well as environmental, resource and labour exploitation. In this session, panellists will focus on the experiences of ASEAN and the EU with regard to the issues surrounding economic liberalisation. Panellists will share their views and observations of the motives for liberalisation, as well as its processes and outcomes. Unique challenges and strategies of each region will be highlighted, including recent developments such as Brexit and the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Speakers :
  • Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Kamal Mat Salih (Malaysia)
  • Assoc Prof Dr Evelyn Shyamala (ASEAN)
  • H.E. Eamon Hickey (EU-IRL)
  • Dr. Rahul Mishra (Comparative Perspective)
Moderator: Prof. Tan Eu Chye
1.00 pm Lunch and Networking
2.15 pm Panel 2: Sustainable Development and Income Equity
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were conceived as a follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were implemented from 2000 to 2015. As the action plan for the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the SDGs focuses on several key areas which include poverty alleviation, improvement of good health and well-being for all, improving gender and economic equality, as well as protection of the environment through addressing pollution and climate change as well as safeguarding natural resources. Accordingly, this session will discuss the implications of the SDGs on ASEAN and the EU, drawing on the experiences of each region in poverty alleviation strategies which reduce income inequalities among nations and communities. Some critical issues include the theory and practices of sustainable development, poverty reduction and equitable growth.

Speakers:
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr Baharom Abdul Hamid (Malaysia)
  • Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (ASEAN)
  • Prof. Dr. Corrado G.M.Letta (EU)
  • Dr. Nurliana Kamaruddin (Comparative Perspective)
Moderator: Dr. Sameer Kumar
4.30 pm Light refreshments
5.00 pm End of Program Day 1

Day 2: 26 July 2018 (Thursday)

9.00 am Panel 3: Technology and Innovation
Traditionally, innovation and technology policy was primarily intended to assure national technological competitiveness and was thus oriented towards the target of national growth. Now a conscious change of direction towards the regional level, its structures, and regional economic and innovative potentials can be observed. As a result of internationalisation and globalisation, new regional arrangements, organisation forms, and the generation of “regional innovations” are required. Thus, regions are now being regarded as starting points for policy measures. Furthermore, innovation for economic activities is no longer limited to technological innovations but also in improving existing processes, products and services for the market. Set against this background, the session will discuss regional policies on technology development and the development of “soft” intangible factors and human resources promotion in the context of ASEAN and the EU.

Speakers :
  • Dr. Ng Boon Kwee (Malaysia)
  • Dr. Cheong Kee Cheok (ASEAN)
  • Mr. Roberto Benetello (EU)
  • Dr. Sameer Kumar (Comparative Perspective)
Moderator: Assoc .Prof. Dr. Aida Idris
10.30 am Coffee Break
11.00 am Panel 4: Labour, Service and Talent Mobility
Current demographic projections by the World Economic Forum show that an employment crisis for the next 20-30 years is likely to stem from a shortage in labour supply linked to declining birth rates and a steadily ageing population. Therefore, the physical mobility of labour and skills within or across organizations, industries, or countries, and the professional movement of workers across occupations can help balance global human capital markets and stimulate economic growth in both developed and developing countries. Understanding and harnessing talent mobility is now more critical than ever to reduce gaps between talent shortages and high unemployment rates in different parts of the world. In this session, panellists will elaborate on the issues in labour, service and talent mobility within and across the regions focusing on the experiences of ASEAN and the EU. Some critical areas include challenges and strategies in higher education, tourism, and professional services.

Speakers :
  • Prof. Datuk Dr. Norma Mansor (Malaysia)
  • Prof. Dr. Tham Siew Yean (ASEAN)
  • H.E. Karin Mossenlechner (EU)
  • Dr. Fumitaka Furuoka (Comparative Perspective)
  • Mr. Nigel Gibbs (Asia-UK)
Moderator: Dr. Rahul Mishra
1.00 pm Lunch and Networking
2.00 pm Closing Keynote - “Economic Integration - The ASEAN Experience"
Speaker: Dr. Ahmad Zafarullah Abdul Jalil, Assistant Director (Monitoring, Surveillance Coordination Division), ASEAN Secretariat
Moderator: Dr. Cheong Kee Cheok
3.00 pm Conclusion and Closing Remarks
3.15 pm Light refreshments
3.30 pm End of Program

* This schedule is subject to change.

Registration

Admission is FREE. Please register here: http://bit.ly/asean-eu-dialogue-2018

Contact person:
Mr. Aaron Denison (aaron.denison@um.edu.my)
Mr. Sufi Khirul Bahari (msufi@um.edu.my)
Tel: 03-7967 7823
Fax: 03-7954 0799

Who should attend?

The conference is expected to benefit students, academics, researchers, government officials and policy-makers in the areas of:

  • ASEAN and/or EU studies
  • Regionalism and regionalisation
  • International relations
  • Economic integration, globalisation and trade liberalisation
  • Technology, innovation and regional development
  • Sustainable development
  • Migration and mobility
©2017 Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya. All rights reserved.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union