Free Trade and Investment Politics as Power Politics?

Workshop at the 10th Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF), in co-operation with TNI and the EU-ASEAN FTA network. 11 October, Milan (Italy)

Free Trade agreements (FTA) have recently gained prominence in Europe due to the infamous Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement which is currently being negotiated between the European Commission and its counterparts in the USA. Only big corporations know the concrete content of the draft while the public is left in the dark. The growing resistance of the European people against the agreement has put TTIP on the public agenda.

South East Asian (SEA) states on the other side are very active in pursuing FTAs on their own, both in their region and globally. The newest “member in the club” is Myanmar: South Korea and Japan signed a free trade agreement with Myanmar in record-breaking time. This is only one example for the fast-moving development of FTAs in SEA.

The civil society of SEA organises itself in very diverse groups, networks and sectors against this dynamic. Workers, but especially farmers and fisher folk work against this neoliberal policy and become more successful in their region. However, as in Europe, it remains a severe challenge to raise people’s awareness of the impacts of recent FTA on everybody’s daily life.

The Asian-European People’s Forum offers the possibility to enhance mutual knowledge about FTAs including the important investment chapters and the manifold interests that influence the ongoing negotiations between the EU Commission and the SEA Governments.

Our goal is to tighten the networks in our two world regions and combine our efforts for a human centered sustainable social and economic system.


Klaus Fritsche, Germany; Wolfram Schaffer, Germany; Dharmendra Kumar, India; Yuyun Harmono, Indonesia; Muhammad Ridha, Indonesia; Nurul Izzah, Malaysia; Cherry Zahau, Myanmar; Walden Bello, Philippines; Joseph Puruggaran, Philippines; Kingkorn Narintarakulk, Thailand; Hae-Young Lee, South Korea; Van Ly Tran, Vietnam; Thanh Nam Bui, Vietnam; Nguyen Anh, Vietnam

Please register via the AEPF's website.

Links for background information:

Shifting Power Reader (Transnational Institute)
The Second Front: Aggressive Push for New Generation Free Trade Agreements (Focus on the Global South)
Joseph Purugganan on "How to Get Rid of TTIP and other FTAs" (Focus on the Global South)
Early Harvest: The Bali Package (Focus on the Global South)
Trade Invaders. How big business is driving the EU-India free trade negotiations (Corpoarte Europe Observatory)
TPP - the case of Vietnam (Presentation by Tung Nguyen, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, SEA)



Register for this event.