Provide cutting-edge views on significant issues

Our members’ applicable research outcomes are defining new ways of business practice, driving law reforms, and shaping public debates. 

We produce high quality research that facilitates informed debate and provide trusted advice around key issues such as trade and investment, digital currency and finance, digitisation, sustainable development and international dispute resolution.

Select Areas

Lead: Professor Heng Wang

What fundamental changes in doing business will occur in the region in the CBDC era? New ecosystems will emerge, resulting in new business practices in payments; business compliance with different state rules on data; new services, regulations and entrants in financial markets challenging the model of traditional banks; issues around system interoperability, cyber security, and foreign exchange, to name some of the issues which will arise. Businesses need to understand the issues and be well prepared to develop their business models and processes.  

Lead: Associate Professor Kun Fan

Mobilizing investment and ensuring that it contributes to sustainable development goals (SDGs) is more important than ever at a time of pressing social and environmental challenges. What are the barriers and opportunities for mainstreaming the SDGs into investment treaties and investor-state arbitration? With the trend from investor protection to investor responsibilization, businesses need to be better informed to balance their commercial and sustainable development goals.  

Lead: Associate Professor Weihuan Zhou

Understanding the ongoing challenges of doing business in or with China, and commercial, legal and policy solutions, are critical for Australian business. Australian business needs to understand how Chinese SOEs operate, and how Chinese industrial policies and subsidies are designed to create competitive advantages for Chinese industries and global firms. Australian business should encourage and support the Australian government to play a crucial role in shaping international rules that constrain Chinese industrial policies and subsidies, including through SOEs.

Lead: Dr. Lu Wang

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in today’s global economy and cross-border investment. In the wake of COVID-19, countries across the globe are rethinking their investment policy as well as the role of state in foreign investment. Understanding the challenges of SOEs and policy responses at both domestic and international levels in the field of investment is critical for business: how to understand the role of SOEs in international investment, the benefits and challenges of SOEs, international impact of Chinese SOEs and SOE reforms, the standing of SOEs in investor-state arbitration (ISDS), national security and competitive neutrality concerns over SOEs and foreign investment screening regimes, SOE disciplines in new investment treaties including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI).

Lead: Associate Professor Xiaochuan (Charlie) Weng

This empirical project will analyse the non-time-based sunset rules promulgated by the Chinese market regulator in 2018 to assess potential effects on companies and suggest how provisions should be legislated. 

  • Greater focus on the impact of technological change on law, regulation and commercial dealings within the region
  • How dispute resolution processes can be combined to optimize the resolution of commercial disputes between businesses, and what constraints should be considered
  • Foreign investment in green and digital economy sectors: focus on investment protection, corporate social governance, regulatory challenges, and dispute resolution
  • Renewable energy projects and investment treaty claims, considering the impacts of climate change, enormous growth of investments into renewable energy projects, the changing regulatory regime in Asia and possible risks for investors
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) screening mechanisms driven by national security concerns: changes in national investment policies and implications for business
  • Reform of the investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) system: new investment treaty practice, procedural issues, and arbitration rules amendment
  • How do governments in the region employ principles of competitive neutrality and competitive impact assessment to improve market efficiency and benefit consumers?
  • Emerging competition and other regulation of new market entrants and digital platforms in the new digital market space
  • Emerging challenges for international cooperation in the development of international trade rules and the settlement of trade disputes such as the growing recourse to national security, economic sanctions, economic coercion and countermeasures.