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Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation – Hong Kong 2017

The Hinrich Foundation, with support from the Hong Kong-America Center and Asia Society Hong Kong, launched the first Open Trade Asia Negotiation in Hong Kong, held March 18 & 25, 2017.

56 local and international students from Hong Kong and Macau universities participated in a 2-day Model United Nations style of trade negotiation simulation, providing them with insights on the dynamics of trade negotiation and how its outcomes can affect economies.

OverviewNegotiation scenariosScheduleSpeakers & advisorsParticipantsPartner organizationsMedia coverageJoint communiquéGallery

The open trade system that emerged after the Second World War has been a powerful driver of economic growth. But further progress in this open trade system appears stalled as protectionist sentiment takes hold on both sides of the Atlantic. The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union and the new US administration’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are compelling leaders throughout Asia and Europe to re-think trade and prepare to negotiate new trade agreements or renegotiate current ones.

The Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation gives university students the opportunity to learn from trade negotiators and academic experts on what goes on behind closed doors, be coached on how to find common ground among countries with very diverse agendas and develop multi-lateral agreements for the specific sectors of Trade in Goods & Services and Intellectual Property.

 

Urgent questions: What’s next for the global trade regime?

The Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation gives university students the opportunity to learn from trade negotiators and academic experts on what goes on behind closed doors, be coached on how to find common ground among countries with very diverse agendas and develop multi-lateral agreements for the specific sectors of Trade in Goods & Services and Intellectual Property.

  • ✔ What will be the future of trade agreements in the post-TPP era in Asia?
  • ✔ Will Asian economies contract if trade is curtailed?
  • ✔ Are the global supply chains built over decades of global trade at risk?
  • ✔ Will the American role in promoting trade recede while China’s role in the region grows?
  • ✔ Is there a better way to strike the next generation of trade deals in Asia and around the world?

Growing need for trade negotiators: Are you up for the challenge?

With TPP pushed aside, trade negotiation – and negotiators – will become even more important, not less. How are trade agreements actually negotiated? Who are the people who do this? How do they come by their skills? How are trade agreements implemented and adjudicated? What is the career of a trade negotiator, and how can students prepare to become one?

Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation enables university students to deepen their understanding of how global trade functions. Learning from and guided by trade negotiators, industry experts and academics, country teams tackled and endeavored to find common ground on the challenges in Trade in Goods & Services and Intellectual Property sectors.

Trade in Goods & Services

Under the Trade in Goods & Services (TGS) sector, teams negotiated the tariff elimination schedule for consumer electronics and rice with the objective of eliminating virtually all tariffs between the six participating counties.

Digital commerce was also under discussion, with the purpose of loosening restrictions on internet and electronic commerce. Senior trade negotiators focused on the specific issues of local data storage requirements.

 

 

Intellectual Property

The Intellectual Property (IP) sector explored patent protection of biological products, with the intention of providing a strong level of intellectual property protection in order to encourage further innovation, while balancing social and consumer welfare.

It also addressed counterfeit products, envisioning a set of very stringent and highly pro-active anti-counterfeit measures that each country will be obligated to undertake and enforce.

The first cohort of the Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation was held for 2 consecutive Saturdays on March 18 and 25, 2017 at Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

Day 1: March 18, 2017

Day 2: March 25, 2017

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Mr. Kurt Tong
US Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau
Keynote speech: Open Trade and US-East Asia Relations: Current Trends and Future Prospects

Mr. Mario Ignacio Artaza Loyola
Representative, Banco Security Hong Kong
Keynote speech: Lessons from trade negotiations in Asia and Latin America

Mr. Stephen Olson
Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation
Plenary session: Preparing for trade negotiation simulation

Mr. Stephen Olson
Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation
Plenary session: Trade negotiation briefing

Six country teams meet and discuss negotiation positions

Country team meetings and concurrent sessions for IP and TGS

Dr. Patrick Low
Fellow, Asia Global Institute – University of Hong Kong
Plenary session: The role of the World Trade Organization in shaping future trade agreements and commercial relations in Asia

Mr. David Dodwell
Executive Director, HK-APEC Trade Policy Group
Plenary session: Negotiating standards “behind the border” as part of 21st century trade agreements in Asia

Mr. Stephen Olson
Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation
Plenary session: Key strategies by countries to advance their interests in trade negotiations

Country team caucuses and sector negotiations

Mr. Brian Bedell & Dr. Mark Michelson
Intellectual Property (IP) & Trade in Goods and Services (TGS)
Sector briefings: Intellectual Property & Trade in Goods and Services

Concluding negotiations and final plenary to approve the communiqué

Country team caucuses and plenary presentations Country team caucuses and presentations to the plenary

Speakers

Mario Ignacio Artaza

Mr. Mario Ignacio Artaza
Chief Representative, Banco Security

Patrick Low

Dr. Patrick Low
Fellow, Asian Global Institute , The University of Hong Kong

Stephen Olson

Mr. Stephen Olson
Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation

Kurt tong

Mr. Kurt Tong
Consul General, Consulate General of the United States in Hong Kong & Macau

Country team advisors

China

India

Patrick Low

Dr. Patrick Low
Fellow, Asian Global Institute, The University of Hong Kong

Japan

Place Holder

Mr. Sugito Masahito
Japan Consulate in Hong Kong

Philippines

Place Holder

Ms. Fatima Guzman Quintin
Vice Consul, Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong

Place Holder

Mr. Robert Quintin
Vice Consul, Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong

United States

Vietnam

Mark Michelson

Dr. Mark Michelson
Chairman, Asia CEO Forum

Mario Ignacio Artaza

Mr. Mario Ignacio Artaza
Chief Representative, Banco Security

Advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students from Hong Kong and Macau universities were invited to participate in the Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation. The first cohort attracted fifty-six local Hong Kong, mainland China and international exchange students from varied disciplines.

The participants were divided into 6 country teams (China, India, Japan, Philippines, USA and Vietnam) and 2 specific sectors (Intellectual Property and Trade in Goods & Services).

Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leader scholars from Vietnam, Nepal and China also participated in the negotiation simulation.

Hong Kong America Center

The mission of the Hong Kong-America Center is to promote understanding between Hong Kong and American societies through educational and cultural exchanges. In so doing, the Center advances cross-cultural understanding between Chinese and Americans over the bridge of Hong Kong.

 

Asia Society Hong Kong

Asia Society Hong Kong is an affiliate of the Asia Society global network of 12 centers. Asia Society is a leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education & policy, Asia Society provides insights, generates ideas and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.

After a week-long negotiation, the delegates issued a joint communiqué that reaffirms the six country teams’ commitment to the principles of open, transparent and free trade. It also outlines their agreements on rice and consumer electronic goods tariffs, digital commerce, patent protection for biological products and elimination of counterfeit products.

Download the joint communiqué here

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