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There has been an explosive growth of free trade agreements (FTAs) in recent years. The World Trade Report 2011 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) shows Asian members to be among the most active in signing preferential trade agreements. This unprecedented growth has attracted much academic and policy discussion on aspects such as their effects on trade liberalization, problems raised by specific trade and investment provisions, dispute settlement, and concerns over “regionalism”. Like such areas, public health regulation has been significantly affected by such treaties. FTAs, together with bilateral investment treaties (BITs), are rapidly forming a source of intersecting state obligations that have an impact on the regulation of public health and related intellectual property rights (IPRs) (such as in patents for pharmaceuticals) in Asian states. The impact is wide-ranging and profound, affecting access to medicines, rights and obligations of IPR owners and enforcers, rights of investors (such as producers of pharmaceutical and tobacco products), and the relationship between these agreements and other health-related treaties.


FTA, BIT, public health, intellectual property, Asia, trade, investment, investment arbitration


Asian Studies | Health Law and Policy | International Law

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Public International Law, Regional and Trade Law


Society of International Economic Law Biennial Conference 3rd SIEL 2012, July 12-14

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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