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In August 2012, the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School convened a research mission and workshop in Bangkok focused on new financial services regulation and development strategies in the emerging markets of the ASEAN region. This Bangkok initiative, which was held August 29-31, 2012, is part of a multi-year, broad-ranging IGLP research initiative undertaken in collaboration with Visa International to explore the themes of liquidity in the global economy, productive financial services regulatory structures in emerging markets, and financial inclusion. We launched the initiative at Harvard Law School in March 2012 with a free-ranging discussion and to identify a core group of researchers and policy-makers with the interest and expertise to join with us as we pursue these issues over the coming years. The agenda and a brief report on those discussions are available HERE.

The August 2012 mission brought together government officials, industry representatives and scholars to continue these discussions. Our sessions focused on the following three themes:

  • Liquidity in the Global Economy and Capital as Legal Institutions. Our goal was to trace alternative modes for establishing and regulating global liquidity to better understand both the global significance for national public policy of transnational privately generated mechanisms of liquidity, and to understand the availability of alternative legal arrangements that might generate forms of liquidity with divergent effects on inequality and growth.
  • Financial Inclusion. We discussed the provision of banking services for the unbanked as an aspect of development policy, with the goal of moving beyond corporate social responsibility models to business viability, comparing alternative regulatory and business strategies for micro-lending, tele-banking, informal banking and credit/debit services. Our aim was to consolidate our understanding of the experiences with each of these models in various settings, and to facilitate south-south coordination and sharing of best practice successes. We are particularly interested in models which are able to address the poorest sectors of society in ways that remain commercially viable.
  • The Structure of Financial Services in Emerging Markets. We explored alternative paths to economic development and sought to identify and assess the impact of alternative regulatory and institutional environments, as well as the relationships between local and national banking models, “national champions” and state-owned monopolies, and international financial services providers in development strategy.

During the mission, the participants held discussions with with colleagues and experts from the region, including:

  • Ms. Jiranan Pupat, Senior Vice President, Central Food Retail Company Limited
  • Mr. Bandit Sotthipalarit, President of Islamic Bank of Thailand
  • Mr. Yongyut Tariyo, Senior Executive Vice President, Government Savings Bank
  • Dr. Pansak Vinyaratn, Chief Policy Advisor of the Prime Minister
  • Mr. Pornchai Prasertsintanah, Managing Director, Credit Suisse Securities (Thailand) Limited
  • Mr. Natee Khlibtong, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary-General, National Village and Urban Community Fund Office
  • Dr. Vorapol Socatiyanurak, Secretary-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand
  • Mr. Krirk Vanikkul, Deputy Governor, Financial Institutions Stability, Bank of Thailand

The group also participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by Professor Dr. Sakda Thanitcul, Dean of the Faculty of Law at Chulalongkorn University.

Our objective was to create an opportunity for scholars from different research institutions to exchange information about their current research projects and to be exposed to initiatives developed outside the legal academy, which might be a source of inspiration for future joint research.

The mission was hosted in Bangkok by the Faculty of Law at Chulalongkorn University through their Center for Global Law and Policy (CGLP).


 Photos from the Research Mission and Workshop 

Participants included:

  • John Barry, Head of Government Affairs, APCEMEA, Visa Inc.
  • Gabriel Davel, Director of Financial Inclusion Policy at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Ermal Frasheri, S.J.D. candidate, Harvard Law School
  • David Kennedy, Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law & Director, Institute for Global Law & Policy, Harvard Law School
  • Lawrence Kego Masha, Partner at Ishengoma, Karume, Masha & Magai Advocates (IMMMA), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Scott Newton, Lecturer in Laws of Central Asia, SOAS, University of London
  • Nadav Orian Peer, S.J.D. candidate, Harvard Law School
  • Kanich Punyashthiti, Vice Dean for Foreign Affairs of the Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University
  • Kerry Rittich, Professor, Faculty of Law, Women and Gender Studies Institute and the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto
  • Shunko Rojas, S.J.D. candidate, Harvard Law School
  • Surakiart Sathirathai, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister, Thailand
  • The Honorable Nicholas John Sherry, Former Labor Senator of Tasmania, Australia
  • Leopold Specht, Specht Rechtanwalt GmbH, Vienna, Austria
  • Erin Pham Steinhauer, Head, Corporate Responsibility, Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Visa Inc., Singapore