Competing Economic Initiatives in Asia: The Stakes and Role of the US-Japan Alliance


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When: Oct 5 2016 - 12:00pm until Oct 5 2016 - 1:30pm
Where: B354 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Competing Economic Initiatives in Asia: The Stakes and Role of the US-Japan Alliance

Wednesday, October 5 12:00 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.

Location: B354 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

An Asia Pacific Political Economy and Trade Seminar featuring:


Ambassador Matthew J. Matthews
Deputy Assistant Secretary and Ambassador for APEC, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, US Department of State

Kazumi Nishikawa
Director, Global Economic Policy Unit, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) And Former Executive Director, JETRO Singapore

H.E. Krisda Piampongsant 
Senior Advisor, Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand

Dr. Satu Limaye (Moderator)
Director, East-West Center in Washington

Ambassador to APEC Matthew J. Matthews discussed the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In addition to increased geopolitical tensions, the Asia-Pacific region is also witnessing competitive economic dynamics. This has taken the form of new initiatives ranging from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreements, to the China initiated One Belt One Road (OBOR) and AIIB (Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank). While neither geo-economics nor geo-politics needs to lead to zero-sum results, the outlook is more contested than it has been in decades. 

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 


Matthew J. Matthews, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, assumed his position as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and concurrently as the Senior Official for APEC on June 16, 2015. Prior to that, he was the Foreign Policy Advisor to Admiral Locklear, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command from 2013 - 2015, and the Deputy Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong from 2010 to 2013. Matt served as the Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2007-10) focusing on trade issues that set the stage for Malaysia’s entry to the TPP negotiations, and at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia (2004-07) where he focused on implementation of our bilateral FTA. Prior to that, while serving as the Chief of the Internal Unit in the Economic Section at the U.S. Embassy Beijing (2001-04), Matt led a team which worked extensively on Chinese macroeconomic and financial reform issues. As deputy chief of the Economic Office at the American Institute in Taiwan (1998-2001), he focused on expanding market access for US financial firms. Matt’s earlier postings included an assignments in Pakistan, Brazil, Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong.. Matt speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and has received five State superior honor awards as well as the CJCS Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, attended the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Taipei, and earned a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Kazumi Nishikawa serves as Director of the Global Economic Policy Unit for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, covering the ministry’s global economic policy. Before entering this role June, he had been posted to Singapore in July 2013 as the Executive Director of JETRO Singapore (Japan External Trade Organization) to cover ASEAN and East Asia-wide issues such as economic integration, business integration and infrastructure development. Concurrently, he served as Special Advisor to the Minister’s Secretariat within the METIPrior to his Singapore appointment. Mr. Nishikawa served as the Director for Policy Planning in the Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, METI, and was tasked with coordinating the Growth Strategy of “Abenomics” Policy. He joined METI in 1996 and held various positions over a period of 20 years, including Principle Deputy Director of Minister’s Secretariat and Deputy Director for WTO Doha Round negotiation. He also worked in the Defense Ministry in charge or US-Japan Ballistic Missile Defense cooperation. Mr. Nishikawa holds a law degree from the University of Tokyo, an LLM from Northwestern University School of Law, and an LLM for International Study from Georgetown University Law Center. He is qualified as an Attorney at Law in New York State.

H.E. Krisda Piampongsant currently serves as an advisor to the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand, as well as an advisor to the Thai-EU Business Council. He has held numerous high-level positions including Chair of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (2011-2013); Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the World Trade Organization (WTO) (2010-2012); Commercial Minister at the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, DC (1999-2003); Director of ASEAN Trade and Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Commerce (1996-1999); Director of the USAID Development Program in the Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation in the Office of the Prime Minister (1990-1995); and Chief of the Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries Program in the Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation in the Office of the Prime Minister (1975-1978). He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia (1975) and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (1980).

Dr. Satu Limaye is Director of the East-West Center in Washington. He is also a Senior Advisor at the CNA Corporation, a non-profit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, VA. He is the creator and director of the Asia Matters for America initiative, an interactive resource for credible, non-partisan information, graphics, analysis and news on US-Asia Pacific relations and the national, state and local levels; Founding Editor of the Asia-Pacific Bulletin series, an editor of the journal Global Asia and on the international advisory council of the journal Contemporary Southeast Asia. Dr. Limaye publishes and speaks on U.S.-Asia relations and is a reviewer for numerous publications, foundations and fellowship programs. Previously, he was a Research Staff Member of the Strategy and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and Director of Research and Publications at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), a direct reporting unit of U.S. Pacific Command. He has been an Abe Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy and a Henry Luce Scholar and Research Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) in Tokyo. He is a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
Phone: 2023279755