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Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation

Published 22 March 2017

In March 2017, Hong Kong America Center, Hinrich Foundation and Asia Society Hong Kong Center held the inaugural Open Trade Asia Negotiation Simulation. The event, which took place on consecutive Saturdays, sought to develop an awareness and pipeline of people engaged in open trade and trade negotiations.

Students from universities across Hong Kong gathered to learn from experienced trade negotiators about their craft, and be coached on how to find common ground among countries to create multilateral trade agreements.

Student delegates were divided into teams to represent six countries: the United States, Japan, China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. The negotiations were further divided into two trade sectors: Trade in Goods & Services (TGS) and Intellectual Property (IP). Participants were briefed by industry experts regarding trade basics, the implications of trade agreements and coached on negotiation strategies.

The two day event featured a host of high level speakers including current government officials and former trade negotiators:

  • Kurt W. Tong, U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau
  • Alice Mong, Executive Director, Asia Society Hong Kong Center
  • Kathryn Dioth, CEO, Hinrich Foundation
  • Mark Michelson, Senior Counselor, APCO Worldwide
  • David Dodwell, Executive Director, Hong Kong-APEC Trade Policy Group
  • Stephen Olson, Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation
  • Patrick Low, Fellow, Asia Global Institute
  • Brian Bedell, Consul, U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong
  • Mario Artaza Loyola, Chief Representative, Banco Security

At the end of the simulation, student delegates worked together to create and present an agreed upon text in a joint communiqué. Delegates then reflected on lessons learned in the give and take of the negotiation process.

“Many of you will have bright careers ahead of you as trade negotiators if you are interested,” Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stephen Olson told students at the conclusion of the event. 

© The Hinrich Foundation. See our website Terms and conditions for our copyright and reprint policy. All statements of fact and the views, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the author(s).

Lauren Kyger is the Digital Content Manager for the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and a former Associate Editor for TradeVistas, an online trade magazine supported by the Hinrich Foundation.

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