Peter Drysdale is Emeritus Professor of Economics and the Head of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research and East Asia Forum at Crawford School of Public Policy. He is widely recognised as the leading intellectual architect of APEC.
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Crawford School’s East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) has played a key role in recent negotiations which will set the course for the future of free trade in Asia and the world.
Professor Peter Drysdale and Dr Shiro Armstrong led a session of eight academics responsible for briefing the lead negotiators for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
RCEP is a regional trade agreement comprising the 10 members of ASEAN as well as Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand. The 17th round of negotiations took place in Kobe, Japan, and was the first time that stakeholder engagement with the research community was on the official negotiation agenda.
Dr Armstrong said the agreement is especially important given the collapse of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the headwinds blowing against economic openness in the global economy.
“With the demise of the TPP, RCEP is the most important initiative on the global trade scene,” says Armstrong.
“How RCEP evolves will determine whether trade becomes a force for cooperation and integration across the wider Asia-Pacific region, or a cause of rivalry and economic fragmentation.”
In Kobe, Crawford School’s EABER was a co-organiser for the session alongside the Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and other researchers.