External PhD candidate
Title research: ‘Legal Factors in the ASEAN Economic Community to Promote ASEAN's Participation in Global Value Chains’
Nelly is Executive Editor of the European Competition and Regulatory Law Review (CoRe) and the European Data Protection Law Review (EDPL), as well as Business Development Manager at the Berlin/Brussels legal publisher Lexxion. Her interest in ASEAN can be traced to her position as Head of the EU-ASEAN Impact Group of the Berlin-based think tank IFAIR and the three years she spent working in Kuala Lumpur in trade and project management at the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and an international consultancy firm. Additionally, Nelly has a background in EU affairs, trade and sustainability consulting for European industry associations.
She has an LLM in European Law (2010) and BA (cum laude) in European Studies (2008), both from Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Nelly speaks English, Bulgarian, German and some basic Bahasa Melayu.
In the past decades, production networks have become increasingly fragmented as companies outsource some of their manufacturing and service activities to different parts of the world. This allows companies to produce more efficiently as they set up parts of their operations in the most competitive locations and benefit from economies of scale. Boosted by growing economies, large young labour force, natural resources, relative political stability and trade openness, the diverse ten Members States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are vying to enhance their position in global production networks and develop stronger regional ones. ASEAN is undergoing a process of regional economic integration and has launched the ASEAN Economic Community. An integrated ASEAN could stand to challenge China and India’s leadership as the ‘factories of the world’ and become more resilient to Chinese economic influence. For European companies, particularly for multinational corporations, an integrated ASEAN holds high potential as a market and production base.
Organised in a series of articles, Nelly’s doctoral research investigates the two-way interaction between regional economic integration in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and global and regional value chains (GVCs and RVCs). On the one hand, the articles identify and explore the key legal/regulatory AEC factors that can promote ASEAN’s participation in GVCs - one of the main strategic objectives in the AEC Blueprints. On the other hand, this is an enquiry about the role that GVCs could play in overcoming some of the persisting legal barriers to regional economic integration in ASEAN. At the centre of the research are companies, seen as a major driving force, actor and beneficiary of fragmented value chains and regional economic integration. A reference point in the study – both as best practice and as cautionary tale – is the EU model of building and regulating a single market.
Key Research Points:
- Analysis of relevant areas in the AEC agreements and regulatory framework, preferential trade agreements between ASEAN or some of its Member States with major (for GVCs) trading partners, including free trade agreements with the EU
- Detailed case study of two sectors, one in goods and one in services, of importance for EU-ASEAN trade
- Qualitative research - interviews with stakeholders (companies, policy makers, experts from academia and international organisations)
- Quantitative research - large-scale survey of businesses in ASEAN for an up-to-date understanding of the market’s needs of the AEC economic integration process, with focus on the legal areas of interest for GVCs integration of the region
- Actionable academic research - analysis and recommendations combining comprehensive legal research with feedback from the business community, policy makers, academics