East Asian International Economic Law and Policy (EAIEL) Programme

Convenor: Professor Douglas W. Arner

Professor Douglas W Arner specialises in economic and financial law, regulation and development. He is author, co-author or editor of eighteen books, including The RegTech Book (Wiley 2019), Reconceptualising Global Finance and its Regulation (Cambridge 2016), Financial Markets in Hong Kong: Law and Practice (Oxford, 2d ed., 2016), Finance in Asia: Institutions, Regulation and Policy (Routledge 2013), From Crisis to Crisis: The Global Financial Crisis and Regulatory Failure (Kluwer 2011) and Financial Stability, Economic Growth and the Role of Law (Cambridge 2007), and the author or co-author of more than 150 articles, chapters and reports on related subjects. His recent papers are available at SSRN where he is among the top 60 authors in the world by downloads.

The East Asian International Economic Law and Policy (EAIEL) Programme was founded in 2003 in order to create a world-leading programme, situated in Hong Kong, on international economic law and policy; particularly with respect to developments in China and the East Asian region. China’s accession in 2001 to the World Trade Organization was a major event and provided the impetus for its establishment.

In its initial years under the leadership of Donald Lewis, Mattheo Bushehri and Henry Gao, the EAIEL Programme focused on two principal areas of activity: (i) academic research on WTO and international economic law and policy concerning China and East Asia; and (ii) training programmes on trade law and policy, principally for governments of the Asia Pacific region under the auspices of the WTO’s Regional Trade Policy Programme in the Asia-Pacific.

In time, EAIEL’s conferences in Hong Kong have produced major works on current developments. They include: Henry Gao & Donald Lewis (eds.), China’s Participation in the WTO (Cameron May, 2005); Ross Buckley, Richard Hu and Douglas Arner (eds.), East Asian Integration: Law, Trade and Finance (Edward Elgar, 2011); C.L. Lim, Deborah Elms & Patrick Low (eds.), The Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Quest for the Twenty-First Century Trade Agreement (Cambridge University Press, 2012); and C.L. Lim & Bryan Mercurio (eds.), International Economic Law After the Global Crisis: A Tale of Fragmented Disciplines (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Today, EAIEL has a track record not only in scholarship and capacity building but also in its outreach and knowledge-exchange programmes as it seeks to bring greater understanding of contemporary issues not only to local professionals and policy-makers, but also to the broader Hong Kong public, visiting scholars and high officials travelling through Hong Kong, as well as visiting students from outside Hong Kong. In this regard, EAIEL hosts lunch and evening talks on the HKU campus, hosts visiting delegations, and engages the global press on developments in China, Hong Kong and the region.

Conscious of the rapid pace of developments, EAIEL’s talks and research initiatives and the work of its fellows in Hong Kong and abroad continue to evolve; not least in light of China’s and Hong Kong’s roles in the international economic field. EAIEL’s Hong Kong-based scholars and foreign fellows currently work on a variety of subjects. These range from research on ASEAN rules of origin and the ASEAN Economic Community to Hong Kong’s engagement of ASEAN, developments in China’s competition law regime, the emergence of mega-regional economic treaties in the Asia-Pacific, China’s investment treaty negotiations, the growth in East Asian arbitration work and regional and global financial arrangements. In addition to its collaboration with other HKU Law Faculty Centres and Programmes, EAIEL has an interdisciplinary mandate and welcomes collaboration with other HKU faculties, centres and institutes.

Upcoming Event

Metaverse in China (7 March 2023)

Past Event

The Future of Financial Centers (29 November 2022)

EAIEL Senior Fellows

Seung Chong, Consultant, Simmons & Simmons (Hong Kong)

Stuart Harbinson, GBS, Senior Adviser, Fipra, Geneva (Switzerland)

Patrick Low, Vice-President (Research), Fung Global Institute (Hong Kong)

Professor Mitsuo Matsushita, Advisor, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and Emeritus Professor, The University of Tokyo (Japan)

Edmund W. Sim, Partner, Appleton Luff Pte Ltd (Singapore)

Arnoud R. Willems, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP (Brussels)

EAIEL Fellows

Davide Rovetta, Counsel, Grayston & Company (Belgium)

Juan Ignacio Stampalija, Latin American Lawyer (Argentina)

EAIEL Visiting Fellows

Dr. Alessandro Spano

Research Associate, UCL and Research Fellow, King’s College London (United Kingdom)

May 2014

Colin Picker

Associate Professor, UNSW Law School (Australia)

July – August 2013

Dr. Razeen Sally

Director, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and Senior Lecturer, International Political Economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom)

July – November 2007

Professor Raj Bhala

Rice Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas School of Law

July – August 2007

Professor Rolf Weber

Professor for Civil, Commercial and European Law, University of Zurich and Director, European Law Institute (Switzerland)

November 2006 – January 2007

Ms. Shi Miao Miao

Deputy Director, WTO Division of the Ministry of Commerce (China)

September – December 2006

Mr. Akihiko Tamura

Legal Affairs Officer, Legal Affairs Division, World Trade Organization in Geneve (Switzerland)

July 2006 – 2007

Dr. Choi Won Mog

Associate Professor, College of Law, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea and Director, WTO Law Center (Korea)

January – February 2006

WTO Representatives’ Visits

29 July 2014

Mr Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director-General of WTO and Former Permanent Representative to the WTO, Nigeria

18 December 2013

Ambassador Jonathan Fried, Permanent Representative of Canada to the WTO and Chairperson of the Dispute Settlement Body, WTO

4 November 2011

Valentine Sendanyoye Rugwabiza, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization


1 and 2 September 2016

An International Workshop on China’s Identity in International Law

15 and 16 July 2011

The East Asian International Economic Law & Policy Programme, Asian Institute of International Financial Law, Faculty of Law, HKU; Law, Policy and Development Strategic Research Theme, HKU; and the Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong co-hosted “Asian International Economic Law Network (AIELN) Conference 2011″.

25 and 26 February 2011

Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations and the East Asian International Economic Law & Policy Programme, Asian Institute of International Financial Law, The University of Hong Kong jointly organized “Present at the Beginning: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement” Workshop.

Lunch and Evening Seminars

29 October 2015

EAIEL/AIIFL Seminar “An Arbitrator’s Perspective of International Arbitration in Asia” by Professor Leon Trakman, University of New South Wales

6 May 2015

EAIEL/AIIFL and TRS Seminar “Critical Analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)” by Professor Raj Bhala, Rice Distinguished Professor, The University of Kansas School of Law

26 November 2014

“China and the European Union: The Solar Dispute from a Practitioner’s Viewpoint” by Arnoud Willems, Partner, Sidley Austin, Brussels & Senior Fellow, EAIEL

18 December 2013

“Hong Kong in a World of Acronyms: East Asia and the WTO, TPP, TISA, IMF, FSB, G20 and QEIII” by Jonathan T. Fried, Chairman, WTO Dispute Settlement Body and Canadas Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO

3 May 2013

“Developing an International Arbitration Practice” by Dr. Robert Gaitskell, QC, International Arbitrator and Mediator, Practising in Keating Chambers, London

25 April 2012

“The EU as a Leading Actor in International Trade and Investment” by Stefan Amarasinha, Head, Trade and Economic Section, European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao

22 November 2011

“Can International Trade Negotiations at the WTO Ever Succeed? After ten years of the Doha Round, nothing has been achieved. Is it time to give up?” by Stuart Harbinson, GBS, Senior Trade Policy Adviser, Sidley Austin LLP, Geneva and Visiting Senior Fellow, East Asian International Economic Law & Policy Programme, HKU

4 November 2011

“The Challenges Facing the Multilateral Trading System” by Valentine Sendanyoye Rugwabiza, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization

24 February 2011

“What Now After the Great Recession? Perspectives on Global Trade and the Relevance of International Cooperation” by Patrick Low, Chief Economist, World Trade Organization and Adjunct Professor of International Economics, Graduate Institute, Geneva

22 November 2010

“The Future of the European Union after the Lisbon Treaty” by Professor Marie-José Garot, Director, Center for European Studies, IE University