RCEP: Looking Beyond Ratification

  • Date: January 13, 2022 5:00 pm
  • Location: Webinar on Zoom
  • Language: English (with simultaneous translation into Chinese)

About this event

Accounting for nearly a third of the world’s population and almost 30 per cent of global GDP, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), concluded in November 2020, drew its 15 signatories from Asia Pacific into the world’s largest trading bloc. Initially conceived by ASEAN as a means of bringing its pre-existing regional trade partners together under a comprehensive economic agreement, RCEP is expected to add US$200 billion to global GDP annually by 2030.

With the ratification of the RCEP in January 1st, 2022, this event will bring together experts from across Asia Pacific to consider the likely impact of this agreement on the region’s economy and its practical implications for businesses operating in the region. In a time when many economies still plot their recoveries from the impacts of COVID-19, RCEP represents an opportunity to leverage liberalised trade and supply chain optimization while kick-starting Asia Pacific’s ailing economies.

While questions remain about how all 15 signatories can ensure equitable influence within RCEP, the opportunities this agreement represents for businesses and Asia Pacific’s regional economy are clear. Against this backdrop, this event, produced in partnership with Asia House and supported by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, Business China, Gao Feng Advisory Company and SRW &Co., will look beyond ratification to consider how RCEP will change the economic and political landscape of Asia Pacific and how businesses can practically benefit from the agreement.

Event Video in Chinese

Event Video in English

Supporting Organizations






Founding Dean, Professor of China Business and Globalization, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)

PhD, University of Alberta

Founding Dean, Professor of China Business and Globalization, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)

PhD, University of Alberta

Areas of Expertise: Economic Disruption, Business in China, Constructive Innovations, Global Implications of China’s Economic Transformation, Innovation and Globalization by Chinese Companies, Innovation in Management Education, Reform of SOEs, Relationship Between State and Business, Role of Private Sector in China

Dr. Xiang Bing is the Founding Dean and Professor of China Business and Globalization at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). CKGSB is China’s first faculty-governed, independent and private business school with headquarters in Beijing, campuses in Shanghai and Shenzhen and representative offices in Hong Kong, London and New York. 

He has served as an independent board member of a number of companies (including three Fortune Global 500 companies) listed in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the United States. He is a member of the International Advisory Council of Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC), a member of the Global Advisory Board of Yonsei School of Business in Korea, a member of the Advisory Board of Asia House in London and a Counselor for One Young World Summit in Dublin. He has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for United Way Worldwide (US) from 2011-2017.

Dr. Xiang is a leading authority on China business. His research interests include the reform of state-owned enterprises, innovation and the role of the private sector and economic disruption in China. His insights on the innovations in China, globalization of Chinese companies, China’s development models, global implications of China’s transformation, social innovation, economic disruption, China-US relations, global trade and investment systems and global governance have been widely acclaimed.

Dr. Xiang has served as keynote speaker at influential forums and conferences around the world. These events include 2020 China National Annual Conference on Philanthropy (December 24, 2020; Chengdu; opening keynote), SCMP China Conference: USA 2019 (December 10, 2019; New York City; closing keynote), Trade and Development Regional Forum 2019 (September 2, 2019; Bangkok; keynote), Harvard China Forum (closing keynote, 2017; first opening keynote, 2018; opening keynote, 2019; Harvard University), FT Banking Summit 2017 (November 30, 2017; London; closing keynote), CKGSB-Brookings US-China Forum 2016 (December 14, 2016; New York City; opening keynote & Dialogue with Dr. Henry Kissinger), US Committee of 100 Annual Conference 2016 (April 16, 2016; Los Angeles; opening keynote). He has been invited to prestigious webinars such as Bo’ao Dialogue 2020, Asian Leadership Conference 2020 (Seoul, Korea), World Knowledge Forum 2021 (Seoul, Korea) and World Chinese Economic Summit 2020.

He has participated in many prominent closed-door conferences, including Ditchley Foundation Annual Forum, Yale CEO Summit and Rome Roundtable. He was also an invited speaker for forums such as the World Economic Forum, Bo’ao Forum for Asia and Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, and for institutions like the Foreign Policy Association (September 27, 2018; New York City; lunch keynote for members of the Board of Trustees), Center for Strategic and International Studies (September 28, 2018; Washington D.C.; lunch keynote and roundtable panelist) and Pheu Thai Party in Thailand (September 2, 2019; Bangkok; a special talk for 350 parliament members).

Dr. Xiang was named the “China Philanthropist of the Year” in 2018 and 2020 by China Philanthropy Times. He was awarded the “Vanguard for Social Responsibilities” in 2020 by Southern Weekly.

Dr. Xiang received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Alberta in Canada, and his bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. 

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Gita Wirjawan

Former Indonesian Trade Minister

TAO Zhigang

Professor of Strategy and Economics, Associate Dean for Global Programs

PhD. Princeton University

Professor of Strategy and Economics, Associate Dean for Global Programs

PhD. Princeton University

Areas of Expertise: Economics of Strategy and Organization, China Business and Economy, International Economics


Zhigang TAO is Professor of Strategy and Economics at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. He taught at University of Hong Kong from 1998 to 2021, and at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 1992 to 1998. Professor Tao received his B.Sc. in management science from Fudan University in 1986, and PhD in economics from Princeton University in 1992. He has published in various economics and management journals, and his work has been widely cited.

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Jeremy Browne

Former Minister of State for Asia Pacific, UK (Moderator)

Jeremy Browne was the British Minister of State for Pacific Asia, 2010-12. His portfolio in the Foreign Office also included responsibly for Latin America and overall relations with emerging powers. He also served as a Minister of State in the Home Office and spent ten years as a Member of the British Parliament (2005-15). Since then he has worked as an International Business Ambassador for Aberdeen Standard Investments and served as the City of London’s Special Representative to the EU, where he dealt with the impact of Brexit on UK-EU financial services. He currently works as a Senior Adviser to renewable energy investment firm Renewity.

Anna Robeniol

Advisor to the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Economic Community

Ms Anna Maria Rosario Diaz Robeniol is the Director of the Market Integration Directorate under the ASEAN Economic Community Department of the ASEAN Secretariat. She was the Head of the External Economic Relations Division of the ASEAN Secretariat from 2018 – August 2020. Before re-joining the ASEAN Secretariat in 2018, Anna was the Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy and Negotiations at the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines (2016-2018). During her tenure as Assistant Secretary, Anna was the Philippines’ chief negotiator for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and other trade negotiations involving the Philippines. She was the country’s Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) lead and chaired the said meeting during the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017. She also co-Chaired the Joint Committee for the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Prior to that, Anna spent more than twelve years at the ASEAN Secretariat, during which she facilitated the completion of negotiations and signing of all the ASEAN Free Trade and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements. She also worked on RCEP until the launch of negotiations in 2012. Anna represented the ASEAN Secretariat in various regional and international forums and led the ASEAN Secretariat team in supporting the implementation of ASEAN FTAs.

Tetsuya Watanabe

Vice-President, Research Institute of Economy Trade, and Industry

Tetsuya Watanabe is Vice President at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) and Visiting Professor at Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo. In his capacity at RIETI, he hosts the RIETI Global Intelligence Series where he discusses and analyses, with experts from the US, the EU and Asia, the geopolitical tensions, global trade governance, climate change challenges, digital transformation and regional integration in Asia. He joined RIETI in 2020 after over three decades of a career as a trade policy maker and negotiator in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), where he served as Director General for the Trade Policy. During his career at METI he worked on a wide range of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations and initiatives, including the WTO Joint Statement Initiatives on E-Commerce, the Trilateral Trade Ministers Meetings, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the Japan-US Trade Agreement and the Japan-UK Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. He also served as the Chief Counsellor at the Government Headquarter for the Trans Pacific Partnership at the Cabinet Secretariat.

Andrew Sheng

Former Central Banker, HKMA & Bank Negara Malaysia

Andrew Sheng is a distinguished fellow at Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong, chief adviser to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, and a former board member of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia. He also served as an adviser to the UN Environment Program Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. Mr. Sheng also serves as a member of the International Advisory Council of the China Investment Corporation, the China Development Bank, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and Honorary Member of the Trustees of Bank Indonesia Institute. Previously, he served as chairman of the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong and as a central banker at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and at Bank Negara Malaysia. Mr. Sheng has also worked at the World Bank. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Malaya and at the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management. Mr. Sheng is the author of From Asian to Global Financial Crisis: An Asian Regulator’s View of Unfettered Finance in the 1990s and 2000s.

Shinta Kamdani

Owner and CEO, Sintesa Group

As Owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Sintesa Group (www.sintesagroup.com), Shinta is responsible for the Management and Expansion of the Group’s business interests in Indonesia. The Sintesa Group is an Indonesian group with 16 subsidiaries, which operate in the Property, Energy, Industrial Products, and Consumer Products.

As a businesswoman, Shinta also involves in numerous business and social activities, including as the Coordinating Vice Chairman III for Maritime, Investment and Foreign Affairs, KADIN Indonesia of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia) and Employers’ Association of Indonesia (APINDO), Executive Board of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), President of Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD), as well as founder of Indonesia Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (IBCWE) and Angel Investment Network Indonesia (ANGIN), and the Member of APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Indonesia. She is also has chosen by the United Nations as one of 30 global corporate leader to join the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD Alliance).

Shinta graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University New York in 1989 and Executive Education at Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 2002.

As part of her achievement, she received awards amongst others from FORBES Asia’s 50 Powerful Businesswomen (2012, 2013, & 2016), 30 Best CEOs by Business Indonesia Award in 2015, in 2017, she was decorated as the Commander of the Polar Star by the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and the Commander of the Order of Leopold of Belgium. And in 2019, she was awarded as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year at the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Award (ACES Award).

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