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CASS-ERIA Symposium on "Regional Economic Integration and EAS"

31 December 2014

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Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and ERIA co-organized a Symposium on "Regional Economic Integration and EAS" on December 15, 2014 in Beijing, China.

The Symposium aimed at deepening the collaboration and exchange of knowledge between the regional think tank - ERIA and the national think tank - CASS, especially regarding the strategies, policies and progress of the economic integration of the East Asia Summit region.

The Symposium was divided into 4 sessions, namely, "Regional Production Networks in East Asia", "EAS and the Future of Regional Integration", "Recent FTA Development and East Asia" and "Regional Economic Integration beyond FTAs: Connectivity".

In the opening session, H.E. Mr. Liu Jianchao, Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China stressed that CASS and ERIA should make good use of this Symposium to provide more intellectual contributions for East Asia region. Prof. Cai Fang, Vice President of CASS said that this Symposium would make constructive recommendations for the region and deepen and promote our mutual understandings on regional economic integration.

Prof. Zhang Yunling, Director, Department of International Studies, CASS (Member of ERIA Governing Board), moderated Session 1 on "Regional Production Networks in East Asia" and led the discussion on a new perspective of regional production networks and the new agendas of economic integration in EAS region.

Prof. Lin Guijun, Vice-President of University of International Business and Economy, China, analyzed in detail the landscape of trade-in-value-added in Asia; emphasized the increasing role of China in parts and components trade; and proposed both cost-oriented reform policy and industry upgrading policy by advancing regional economic integration. Prof. Vo Tri Thanh, Vice President, Central Institute for Economic Management, Vietnam, explained the challenges and potentials which enable CLMV countries to participate in the regional production Networks. Prof. Zhang Jianping, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Foreign Economics, National Development and Reform Commission, China, explained the Chinese perspective on the many ongoing regional integration initiatives, TPP, RCEP, FTAAP and linked the discussion with the changing domestic environment in China and the reform initiatives taken in China. Dr. Malcolm Cook, Senior Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, said that "we should recommend the EAS to function as the facilitator of RCEP negotiations based on the ASEAN centrality as the stepping stone to an FTAAP." Ms. Erlinda Medalla, Senior Research Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, reviewed the potential benefits of RCEP and stressed that "Open accession clause in the RCEP and the role of FTAAP as impetus to the RCEP is important."

In the concluding session, Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura, Executive Director of ERIA wrapped up each speaker's presentation and expected that results and stimulated discussions at the Symposium would provide a direction for economic integration in East Asia.

From ERIA, Prof. Fukunari Kimura, Chief Economist, Dr. Dionisius Narjoko, Economist, and Dr. Yanfei Li, Energy Economist attended as speakers.

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