14th November 2012, 8.00 – 17.00 h.

Phnom Penh Korean Cultural Council (PPKCC

Korean Cultural Centre (next to Naga World)
3F, PGCT Center Sangkat Tonle Basac

Khan Chamkarmon
Phnom Penh

Organised by Focus on the Global South and EU-ASEAN FTA Campaign Network

Development in Southeast Asia continues to be driven by economic policies that are anchored on the aggressive promotion and expansion of trade and investments.  Under the aegis of regional integration, ASEAN has continued to push for more free trade agreements; there are already close to 100 FTAs that have been signed and in-effect across the region and as a bloc it already has trade and economic partnership agreements with most of its dialogue partners and a super agreement called the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement combining five existing FTAs with Japan, China, India, Korea, Australia and New Zealand is set to be launched in Phnom Penh on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

Investments, in particular foreign investments, governed under a regime made up of various bilateral investment treaties (BITS), FTAs with investment chapters, and various other investment arrangements- have increasingly become an important component of development efforts.

At the regional level, the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) is aiming for progressive investment liberalization, enhanced protection for investors, the improvement of transparency and predictability in investment rules, and the promotion of the region as an integrated investment area. Furthermore, priority sectors for investment liberalization have been identified including critical and often sensitive areas of the economy like agriculture and fisheries, forestry, and mining. These efforts to liberalize investments are being reflected as well at the national level through various forms of private public partnerships, joint ventures, production agreements that open up key sectors of the economy to foreign ownership and control.

This development model comes at an increasingly high cost. Across the region, the requirements of investors—domestic and foreign, state and private—are taking precedence over critical local and national priorities of decent employment, occupational safety, food and livelihood security, access to health care, education, water and sanitation, and environmental protection. Large swathes of farm and forest lands are being destroyed by mining, industrial and energy projects (including industrial agriculture) and rivers are being captured for hydropwer and other water based infrastructure. Local communities, farmers and fishers are being displaced from their homes and lands, and from secure traditional occupations.  Civil and political rights are being violated as those who resist these investments are intimidated, arrested, attacked and even killed.    The existing investments in these areas are already creating adverse impacts on people’s and community’s access to and rights over land and natural resources.

The ASEAN Grassroots Peoples Assembly (AGPA) in Phnom Penh Cambodia from 13-15th November is an important opportunity for campaigners and activists to discuss these issues, coordinate actions and define common strategies.

Objectives of the Regional Forum

  1. Collectively analyze and discuss the national, regional and global policy context: Examining how development policies are increasingly shaped by trade-investment interests, and how trade and investment policies affect peoples’ rights, access to resources;
  2. Understand from testimonies on the ground, how these trade and investment deals impact on peoples’ lives, livelihoods, lands, forests, access to food, and their rights;
  3. Learn about on-going peoples struggles and the different types of campaigns, movements, and new spaces that are opening up, and consolidate common strategies for strengthening people’s rights.


8:00- 8:20

Arrival of participants

8:20- 8:40

Welcome and introduction to forum                  

Shalmali Guttal

Focus on the Global South

8:40 – 9:40

Policies and Trends

1. Cambodia context

2. Regional trends (ASEAN): 

   Joseph Purugganan

   Focus on the Global South and EU-ASEAN FTA Campaign Network


Facilitator : Shalmali Guttal, Focus

9:40 – 10.05

Open Forum

10.05 – 10:20


10:20- 12:00

Impact of Investment: local encounter

Cambodia:  Experience from Pheapimex and the Borei Kela or Dahei Krom

Philippines: Mining- The Case of Oceana Gold project  in Nueva Vizcaya Carmen Ananayo, Indigenous Woman Leader

Indonesia: mining

Burma:  Shwe Oil and Gas



Facilitator Jacques-chai Chomthongdi, Focus

12.00- 14:00


14:00 – 15.15

Impact of Investment: local encounter (continued)

Burma: peace process and investment (Kachin area)

Indonesia: Palm oil

Thailand:  Contract farming:  Ubon Yuwa


Major Impacts on the Mekong Region

Warangkana Rattanarat, KEPA




Facilitator Jacques-chai Chomthongdi, Focus

15.15 – 17.00

Struggles and Strategies  (break in between)

Food Sovereignty and agrarian reform:  Indra Lubis (SPI/LVC)

Defense of land and resource rights:


Defending women’s rights: Titi Sontoro (AKSI)

Defending Indigenous peoples rights:

Dam Chanthy  

Judy Pasimio

Lilak: Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights





Facilitator Dorothy Guerrero, Focus