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Asia WTO Research Network (AWRN) 2023 Annual Conference was successfully held at UIBE

On June 5, the Asia WTO Research Network (AWRN) 2023 Annual Conference was successfully held at the China Institute for WTO Studies of the University of International Business and Economics with the support from the WTO Chairs Program. This conference fully demonstrated the function of UIBE as a WTO Chair in scientific research and social service, promoting academic and practical exchanges among scholars on WTO issues, and enhancing influence in the field of WTO in Asia. Nearly 50 scholars and experts from China, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Indonesia and Taiwan region attended the conference online and offline.


The Asia WTO Research Network was established in 2004 by Asian experts and scholars who were interested in the affairs of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The purpose of this network is to closely track and research the development of international trade and economic rules, as well as their impact on different regions, to share academic and practical perspectives, and to promote further cooperation. Over the years, the Asia WTO Research Network has become an important academic platform that provides innovative viewpoints on issues related to the WTO and the Asia-Pacific region. AWRN Chair Prof. Junji Nakagawa gave a welcome speech and expressed his gratitude on UIBE’s hosting the very first offline conference after the pandemic.

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The first session “FTAs/IIAs and Current Issues in the Asia Pacific” was moderated by Professor Yuka Fukunaga from Waseda University in Japan. During the session, several papers were presented, including “Future of ISDS in Asia: Trends from Select State Practice” by Professor R Rajesh Babu from Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, “Disciplining CBDCs: The Privacy Aspects and Free Trade Agreements” by Associate Professor Yueh-Ping (Alex) YANG from National Taiwan University College of Law, and “Digitalizing FTAs: Key Issues in FTAs Requiring Recalibration and Adjustments for Digital Economy” by Professor Jaemin Lee from Seoul National University.

The second session “WTO Reform in General” was moderated by WTO Chairholder Professor Tu Xinquan. Several papers were presented during the session, including “Role of Arbitration and other ADRs to Handle WTO Disputes Involving Trade Remedies” by Professor Tomohiko Kobayashi from Otaru University of Commerce in Japan, “Standards of Review in MPIA Arbitration” by Professor Yuka Fukunaga from Waseda University, and “Reassessing the Exclusion of Non-violation Complaints in the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies” by Associate Professor Tsai-fang Chen from National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan Region.


The third session "WTO Reform and China" was moderated by Professor R Rajesh Babu, During this session, several papers were presented, including "Between Market Economy and State Capitalism: China's State-Owned Enterprises and the World Trading System" by Professor Henry Gao from Singapore Management University, "From Accession to Ambiguity: Tracing China's Non-Market Economy Status Journey in the WTO" by Professor Debashis Chakraborty and his team from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), and "China's Position on WTO Reform" by Professor Tu Xinquan from UIBE.

Participants had a heated discussion and fully exchanged academic viewpoints revolving around the WTO and related issues from both online and offline. After the conference, offline attendees also visited UIBE Foreign Trade and Economic Museum to personally experience the development process of China's foreign trade.