2023 GNC | Panel 1: Emerging Economic Instruments and Agreements: Towards Cooperation or Fragmentation, or Geopolitical Frictions?

Opening Remarks

Weihuan Zhou is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre at the Faculty of Law & Justice, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney. His research explores the most current and controversial issues in the field of international economic law, particularly the nexus between international trade law and China. His latest book (with Henry Gao), published by the Cambridge University Press, offers a thorough and systemic analysis of China’s ongoing reforms of state-owned enterprises and the ways to tackle China’s state capitalism under the world trading system. His work has been cited widely, including in reports of the European Parliament, the Parliament of Australia, US Congressional Research Services and World Economic Forum. He is currently co-Secretary of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) and editorial board member of the World Trade Review and the Journal of International Trade Law and Policy. 

Panel 1: Emerging Economic Instruments and Agreements: Towards Cooperation or Fragmentation, or Geopolitical Frictions?

This panel addresses some of the latest developments in economic cooperation at regional and global levels as well as major challenges for such cooperation, reflecting on the trend of declining multilateralism and growing economic fragmentation. 


Simon Lester is the co-founder of the trade law and policy websites WorldTradeLaw.net and China Trade Monitor. Previously, he was the associate director of the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, and served as a legal affairs officer at the Appellate Body Secretariat of the WTO. He has taught courses on international trade law at American University's Washington College of Law, the University of Michigan Law School, and Melbourne University Law School.

Stefanie Schacherer is Assistant Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University (SMU). Prior to joining SMU, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore. Stefanie obtained her PhD in International Law from the University of Geneva and the University of Vienna. She holds an LL.M. from King’s College London, and a Master and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Geneva. Stefanie has published widely on sustainable development and international investment law. Her monograph titled Sustainable Development in EU Foreign Investment Law was published in August 2021 with Brill Nijhoff.

Wei YIN is an Associate Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law. Her research interests include international economic law, investment law, and sustainable development. She is currently working on research projects concerning Belt and Road Initiative and sustainable development, international rules on state-owned enterprises, and theoretical issues in international economic governance. Her research appears in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of World Trade, Asia Pacific Law Review, etc. Her work also appears in the edited collection published by Routledge, Springer, and Brill. She worked as a research intern, research collaborator, and advisor of several think tanks.

Alexandr Svetlicinii is Associate Professor of Global Legal Studies at the University of Macau, where he also serves as Programme Coordinator for the Master of International Business Law in English Language and Academic Staff Advisor at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Enhancement. His focus research areas are in the fields of competition law and international economic law, including commercial dispute settlement. Prof. Svetlicinii currently serves as co-director of the South East Europe chapter of the Academic Society for Competition Law (ASCOLA).


Lisa Toohey is a Professor of Law at the Newcastle Law School, University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research interests span WTO Law, law and development in the Asia-Pacific, legal design and innovation, and dispute resolution (including international dispute settlement). 

About CIBEL Global Network Conference 2023

Reshaping the Global Economic Governance: Opportunities and Challenges for the Asia-Pacific Region

Global economic governance typically refers to the institutional, policy and regulatory framework established by governments to facilitate and manage their interaction and engagement in global economic activities. As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a pressing need for governments to closely examine not only their own economic systems but also the global economic governance in light of the many new contexts. Numerous challenges lie ahead, including: the further rise of economic nationalism and protectionism, the persistent geopolitical confrontation between the world’s superpowers, the ever-greater fragmentation of the international legal order, the lack of progress in reforming key international institutions particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO), and difficulties and uncertainties in the pursuit of the shared goals of sustainability, inclusiveness and digitalisation. To address these challenges, international cooperation and communication is critical, with much of the collective effort increasingly focused on the Asia-Pacific region. Some recent and telling examples include the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), the US-led negotiations of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), pioneering plurilateral and bilateral arrangements in the region such as the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement between New Zealand, Chile and Singapore and the Digital and Green Economy Agreements between Australia and Singapore, and the potential expansion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in the region and beyond. Understanding these and other significant developments, exploring potential opportunities and challenges, and strategically and actively engaging with the Asia-Pacific region, are thus of critical importance for reshaping global economic governance for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The 2023 CIBEL Global Network Conference & Young Scholars Workshop seek to promote academic and policy debate over the major opportunities for and challenges faced by governments in reshaping their own economic systems, as well as that of the global economic governance collectively, focusing on the role and impact of the Asia-Pacific.

See the full program here