Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The Bugkos Research Program of the UP Asian Center will hold a policy forum, National Interest and the ASEAN Economic Community: Convergence or Competition?, on August 17, 2017, 9:00 am–3:00 pm*, at the Seminar Room, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, Asian Center, UP Diliman. The forum is free and open to the public. Online registration has closed, but walk-ins welcome. 


The forum will bring together leading political economists from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines to gain a better understanding of country processes for the ASEAN Economic Community initiative: What are the stakes for each country’s participation in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)?  How is each country preparing their domestic economies and constituencies for AEC integration? How are these countries positioning themselves in the regional trade treaties in relation to the changing global economic architecture?

Below are the presentations, and names of speakers and their affiliations: 

    • Malaysia in ASEAN Integration and Beyond
      • Tham Siew Yean, Senior Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Yusof Ishak Institute

    • As Long As You Love Me: Indonesia and the ASEAN Economic Community
      • Shofwan Al-Banna Choiruzzad, Research Fellow, ASEAN Study Center, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Indonesia

    • A Thai Perspective on "National Interest and the ASEAN Economic Community: Convergence or Competition"
      • Wisarn Pupphavesa, Senior Adviser for International Economic Relations, Thailand Development Research Institute

    • W[h]ither the ASEAN Economic Community?
      • Dr. Josef Yap, Professorial lecturer, UP School of Economics and former president, Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)


After the presentations, a roundtable will proceed with representatives from the government and the private sector giving their reactions in order to further understand the road ahead for the Philippines and the rest of the region. Joining the forum as lead reactors include Dr. Erlinda Medalla, Senior Research Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies and Project Director of Philippine APEC Study Center Network; Jelen Paclarin, Executive Director of Women's Legal Bureau and Chair of Regional Steering Committee of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference; and Dr. Geoffrey Ducanes, Former Technical Officer, ILO/EU Asian Programme on the Governance of Labour Migration. 


In December 2015, the ASEAN member-states formally launched the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in line with the goal of developing a single production base and market. Indeed over the past decade, much of the work has focused on reducing national barriers to foreign trade and investments as outlined in the AEC 2025 Blueprint. Yet, challenges remain especially at the domestic and global levels. LEARN MORE and READ THE FORUM'S CONCEPT NOTE


The Asian Center Bugkos Research Program is supported by the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research Program of the University of the Philippines. For more information on Bugkos, please visit their website. Other sponsors are the UP Political Science Department, UP Third World Studies Center, and the Asia-Pacific Pathways for Progress Foundation.


For directions to the venue, please view this vicinity map  or go to Google Street View.

Pre-registration through Google Form or by phone is required. To confirm your attendance please call the Bugkos Research Program Office, Asian Center, UP Diliman at 981-8500 local 3586. If you register but are unable to attend the forum, please inform the Bugkos Office as soon as possible by email or by phone. For inquiries, you may contact Dr. Antoinette Raquiza, Bugkos Program Leader: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Sascha Gallardo, Bugkos Operations Manager: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

*Earlier scheduled to end at 4 PM

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Get an overview of these programs. The Asian Center also houses a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia. It has published several books and monographs, and hosts or organizes various lectures and conferences