Current Research Areas

Provide cutting-edge views on significant issues

Our members’ applicable research outcomes are defining new ways of business practice, driving law reforms, and shaping public debates. 

We produce high quality research that facilitates informed debate and provide trusted advice around key issues such as trade and investment, digital currency and finance, digitisation, sustainable development and international dispute resolution.

Select Areas

Lead: Associate Professor Weihuan Zhou 

Transitioning to a greener and more sustainable economy or economic system has become a shared policy priority domestically and internationally. This has been reshaping the vision, strategy and regulatory approaches of governments. Mounting efforts by governments, individually or collectively, have focused on addressing climate change, supply chain resilience, energy transition and security, amongst other existential challenges. These changes of domestic policy and regulation and the reorientation of global trade and the trading system have systemic and far-reaching implications for policymakers, authorities, business and all other stakeholders involved in or affected by the green transition.  

Lead: Associate Professor Kun Fan

Mobilising investment and ensuring that it contributes to sustainable development goals (SDGs) is more important than ever at a time of pressing social and environmental challenges. What are the barriers and opportunities for mainstreaming the SDGs into investment treaties and investor-state arbitration? With the trend from investor protection to investor responsibilisation, businesses need to be better informed to balance their commercial and sustainable development goals.     

Lead: Dr. Lu Wang

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in today’s global economy and cross-border investment. In the wake of COVID-19, countries across the globe are rethinking their investment policy as well as the role of state in foreign investment. Understanding the challenges of SOEs and policy responses at both domestic and international levels in the field of investment is critical for business: how to understand the role of SOEs in international investment, the benefits and challenges of SOEs, international impact of Chinese SOEs and SOE reforms, the standing of SOEs in investor-state arbitration (ISDS), national security and competitive neutrality concerns over SOEs and foreign investment screening regimes, SOE disciplines in new investment treaties including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). 

Lead: Associate Professor Xiaochuan (Charlie) Weng

This empirical project will analyse the non-time-based sunset rules promulgated by the Chinese market regulator in 2018 to assess potential effects on companies and suggest how provisions should be legislated.   

  • Greater focus on the impact of technological change on law, regulation and commercial dealings within the region 

  • How dispute resolution processes can be combined to optimize the resolution of commercial disputes between businesses, and what constraints should be considered 

  • Foreign investment in green and digital economy sectors: focus on investment protection, corporate social governance, regulatory challenges, and dispute resolution 

  • Renewable energy projects and investment treaty claims, considering the impacts of climate change, enormous growth of investments into renewable energy projects, the changing regulatory regime in Asia and possible risks for investors 

  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) screening mechanisms driven by national security concerns: changes in national investment policies and implications for business 

  • Reform of the investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) system: new investment treaty practice, procedural issues, and arbitration rules amendment 

  • How do governments in the region employ principles of competitive neutrality and competitive impact assessment to improve market efficiency and benefit consumers? 

  • Emerging competition and other regulation of new market entrants and digital platforms in the new digital market space 

  • Emerging challenges for international cooperation in the development of international trade rules and the settlement of trade disputes such as the growing recourse to national security, economic sanctions, economic coercion and countermeasures.