RIETI-ANU Symposium

CPTPP and Beyond: Multilateralism in an era of great power strategic competition


Strategic competition between the two global superpowers is threatening the multilateral economic order that has delivered economic prosperity and political security to Asia and the Pacific. That order is under threat. The core institutions, including the WTO, are under attack and the rules needed to manage a modern international economy, to cover the digital economy, investment and the role of state-owned enterprises, are yet to be put in place.
Rule-making is being pushed in regional and plurilateral agreements. The United States is positioning for economic engagement across the Pacific but the character and nature of that engagement remains unclear. Chinese ambition to join the CPTPP presents an opportunity and challenge for existing members.
Meanwhile digital rules - rules for commerce in the 21st century - are being forged in various bilateral and regional groups. Will these arrangements see a fragmenting of global rules or can they be stepping stones towards multilateral rules?
How can regional economic agreements become pathways of transition to a stable multipolar order that integrates economic and environmental sustainability objectives with considerations of national security?
Australia, Japan and other middle powers share a vital interest in preserving the multilateral principles that have delivered their prosperity, and dilute the unilateral exercise of economic power by big countries. There is shared interest in facilitating and encouraging US economic engagement in Asia that is multilateral in character. There is also need to enmesh China into observance of the established rules and their reform. China's trade integration with regional partners can entrench reforms in China and lock China into international markets and rules.
This symposium explores how regional agreements can facilitate multilateralism in the context of strategic competition between China and the United States. Regional efforts to keep the United States entrenched in Asia, engage China in rule-making and strengthen ASEAN centrality will be explored.


  • Time and Date: 10:00-11:30 (JST), Tuesday, February 8, 2022
  • Language: Japanese / English (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Admission: Free
  • Memo: Online (Live Stream)
  • Hosts: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) / Australian National University (ANU)
  • Contact: Ms. TAKEKAWA, Conference Section, RIETI
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Opening Remarks

YANO Makoto

YANO Makoto (Chairman, RIETI / Project Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University / Professor by Special Appointment, Sophia University)

Keynote Speech

HOSODA Kenichi

HOSODA Kenichi (State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Presentation: "Multilateralism in an Era of Great Power Competition"

Shiro Patrick ARMSTRONG

Shiro Patrick ARMSTRONG (Visiting Fellow, RIETI / Associate Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University / Director, Australia-Japan Research Centre / Director, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research)


Shiro Armstrong is Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. He is Director of the Australia-Japan Research Centre, Editor of the East Asia Forum, Director of the Asian Bureau of Economic Research and Research Associate at the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at the Columbia Business School. Dr. Armstrong took his PhD in Economics from the Australian National University and has been visitor to Tokyo University, Peking University, Harvard University and Columbia University. He is Head of the Secretariat for the Pacific Trade and Development (PAFTAD) conference series. His publications include 5 edited books, numerous peer-reviewed journals including in the World Economy, Asian Economic Journal, Foreign Affairs and Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, and is a regular contributor to the opinion pages of the Australian Financial Review.



Panel Discussion: "Regional Economic Agreements Towards Multilateralism"

Panelists (Alphabetical order)

Grace GOWN

Grace GOWN (Head of Global Government Advisory, Access Partnership)


Grace Gown is currently Head of Global Government Advisory at Access Partnership, a global tech public policy firm. Grace has extensive public policy experience, and has provided advice within and to governments, regional bodies and international organisations (such as ASEAN and APEC), and multinational companies and industry associations, on a range of digital economy and digital trade issues across Southeast Asia and Australia. Grace leads a number of digital economy and digital trade focused research projects at Access Partnership, focusing on fit-for-purpose policy development, and promotion of regional alignment. Prior to joining Access Partnership, Grace worked for an Australian government inquiry developing practical recommendations to improve the child safety regulatory framework, with a strong focus on the online environment, and at an Australian government department promoting digital literacy and skills within the school education system, including implementation of government STEM education programs. Grace holds a Bachelor of International Studies and a Bachelor of Laws (Hon II) from Macquarie University, Australia.


Lili Yan ING

Lili Yan ING (Lead Advisor (Southeast Asia Region) , the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))


Dr Ing was appointed as Lead Advisor to the Minister of Trade of Indonesia from 2017-2019 and Senior Advisor on Trade and Investment at the President's Office of the Republic of Indonesia from 2015-2016. She has written articles and edited books, among others: World Trade Evolution, East Asian Integration, The Indonesian Economy, Production Networks in Southeast Asia, Regional Integration and Non-Tariff Measures in ASEAN, Non-Tariff Measures in ASEAN, and 50 Years of Indonesia's Trade Policy. She regularly speaks at international fora such as WTO symposiums, NTM Weeks, and East Asia Business and Investment Summit. She is also a frequent contributor to the East Asia Forum, The Diplomat, Asian Nikkei Review, and Jakarta Post.



Mary E. LOVELY (Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) / Professor of Economics at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University)


Mary E. Lovely, Anthony M. Solomon senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, is professor of economics and Melvin A. Eggers Faculty Scholar at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where she combines interests in international economics and China's development. During 2011-15, she served as coeditor of the China Economic Review. Her current research projects investigate the effect of China's foreign direct investment policies on trade flows and entry mode, the relationship between proximity to export markets and cross-city wage variation, and the influence of Chinese tariff reductions on labor shares of value in its manufacturing firms. She recently completed studies of American manufacturing employment and outsourcing to low-income countries, the role of intellectual returnees in the success of China's photovoltaic solar industry, and the structure of Chinese reforms of state-owned enterprises. Lovely earned her PhD in economics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a master's degree in city and regional planning from Harvard University.



SONG Hong (Deputy General Director and Senior Fellow at the Institute of American Studies (IAS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS))


Dr. Song Hong, Deputy Director General and Senior Fellow at the Institute of American Studies (IAS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Professor of the Graduate School of CASS. He obtained his Bachelor degree in philosophy from the Department of Philosophy at Northwest University in 1987, and Master degrees in Economics at Fudan University in 1994 and Ph.D. degree in Economics 1997 from Nankai University. Professor Song is an economist. He focuses on trade and investment issues. A special concern is with the impacts of multinational enterprises on industrial development in developing countries, especially in China.




WATANABE Tetsuya (Vice President, RIETI / Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo / Visiting Professor, Juntendo University, Graduate Course for Data Science and Industrial Policy)

*Agenda is subject to change