Centre for Content Promotion


Regional Trade And The Creative Economy: A U.S. Perspective

Insight and Analysis Lecture Series


Admission is free, but seats may be limited. Attendance is by registration only. Please register by 1 November 2016.

Time and Date

15 November 2016 (Tuesday)

4.00pm to 5.45pm
(Registration starts from 3.30pm onwards)


SMU Administration Building
Function Room 4.1, Level 4
81 Victoria Street Singapore 188065


3.30pm Registration 
4.00pm Welcome Address (Dean, Professor Yeo) 
4.05pm Introductory Remarks (Professor Calboli) 
4.10pm Lecture (Ambassador Wagar) 
5.00pm Comments (Ambassador Michalak) 
5.30pm Discussion (Moderated by Mr.Rittman) 
5.45pm End of Event & Reception

Public CPD Points

1.5 points (provided SILE’s CPD Attendance Policy is complied with)

Practice Area

Intellectual Property

Training Level


CCP and the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia (ARCIALA) have partnered on a thought leadership initiative which aims at exploring and discussing current and emerging political, legal, and business developments in the areas of creativity, innovation, and commerce. The initiative consists on a series of lectures featuring acclaimed international speakers and compelling topics —theInsight & Analysis Lecture Series.

The lectures will take place at Singapore Management University. Guest speakers will have an allocated time for their presentations, followed by engagement with a distinguished commentator and a Q&A session with audience attendees. Each lecture will be followed by a reception, which will provide further opportunities for informal networking between the speakers and attendees.



The United States (U.S.) plays a special role as a friend and partner with Singapore, and more broadly, in the East Asia-Pacific region.  Total free trade in goods has grown 52% in the 10 years since the signing of the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, making Singapore America’s 13thlargest goods export market.  ASEAN represents a 2.4 trillion dollar market with 620 million consumers and growth rates that surpass most parts of the globe.  U.S. Foreign Direct Investment throughout Southeast Asia is more than that of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea combined.  In today’s economy, what’s good for America is good for Southeast Asia, and vice-versa. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) represents an opportunity to build the accomplishments realized through the U.S.-Singapore FTA on a regional basis, with greater ambition and greater economic scale. How have intellectual property (IP) rights factored into these U.S. bilateral and multilateral initiatives? How does IP stack up across the ASEAN region, and with other trade zones?  Will the promotion and protection of IP foster or hinder growth and liberalized trade? U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar will build off these themes, presenting his strategic vision for a flourishing and stable Southeast Asia that will lead to increased trade, investment and prosperity. Follow-up remarks will be provided by U.S.-ASEAN Business Council’s Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director, Ambassador Michael Michalak.

Welcome Address

Yeo Tiong Min first studied law at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and then obtained post-graduate degrees from the University of Oxford where he was a Senior Research Fellow for a time. He taught at NUS before being appointed the inaugural Yong Pung How Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University in 2007. His research interests are in private law, with a concentration on private international law. He also works in the areas of equity, remedies, restitution, and contract law. His scholarship has been published in Singapore, England, Australia, and Japan, and has been widely cited in texts and journals in Singapore and abroad. His scholarship has been relied upon by first instance and appellate courts in Singapore, Australia, England, Hong Kong SAR, and the Cayman Islands. He has provided expert evidence on Singapore law for trials  abroad, and has argued before the Singapore Court of Appeal as amicus curiae  (friend of the court). He has actively collaborated on several projects with government departments and statutory bodies, including the Singapore Academy of Law and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Introductory Remarks

Irene Calboli is Lee Kong Chian Fellow, Visiting Professor, and Deputy Director of the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia (ARCIALA), School of Law, Singapore Management University. She is also a Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law. Professor Calboli started her academic career at the University of Bologna and has held visiting positions at the King’s College London, the University of California Berkeley, the University Complutense, and the Max-Planck-Institute for Innovation and Competition. From 2012 – 2015, she was a visiting professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore. Professor Calboli’s scholarship focuses on the intersection between intellectual property and international trade. Her recent books include THE LAW AND PRACTICE OF TRADEMARK TRANSACTIONS (Edward Elgar, 2016, with Jacques de Werra), and RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY EXHAUSTION AND PARALLEL IMPORTS (Edward Elgar, 2016, with E. Lee).


Kirk Wagar was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore on September 4, 2013. Previously, he was Managing Partner of Wagar Law, P.A., a Miami-based law firm that focused on contract and insurance litigation.  He served on the Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank in 2010, and on the full Ex-Im Bank Advisory Committee for the 2011 and 2012 terms. Mr. Wagar was the Florida Finance Chair for President Obama and a trustee of the inaugural committee in 2009 and 2013. He also served as Florida Finance Chair for the Democratic National Committee for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Mr. Wagar has been a member of the boards of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the National Collegiate Conference Association, which is parent of the National Model United Nations and an NGO of the United Nations. Mr. Wagar received a B.A. from Roberts Wesleyan College and a J.D. from the University of Miami.


Michael W. Michalak joined the US-ASEAN Business Council in September 2015 as Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director and oversees the Council’s six offices in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from its regional headquarters in Singapore. Previously an independent business consultant focused on Asia and particularly Vietnam, Ambassador Michalak has also served as a diplomat with the U.S. State Department for more 30 than years. His experience includes postings to Tokyo, Sydney, Islamabad, and Beijing, as well as Washington, D.C.  He served as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam from August 2007 to February 2011. Ambassador Michalak holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, a Master of Science degree in Applied Physics from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  


Frank Rittman is a Founding Director of the Centre for Content Promotion. An independent consultant operating primarily in the fields of media, entertainment, and cross-market development, Frank most recently served as the Senior Vice President, Deputy Managing Director and Asia-Pacific Regional Policy Officer for the Motion Picture Association, a trade association representing six international producers and distributors of filmed entertainment.  Prior to that Frank was the Vice President of International Affairs for the National Music Publishers’ Association and The Harry Fox Agency, Inc.  A native New Yorker, Frank began his career as the Director of Contracts & Copyrights for the Macmillan Publishing Company and his professional appointments include serving as a former Chairman of the New York County Lawyers’ Association Entertainment Law Committee, as well as on the Board of Directors of CASBAA, the non-profit association representing the pay-TV interests in the Asia Pacific region.

The next Insight & Analysis Lecture will be delivered on 10 January 2017 by Professor Hugh Hansen, Director, Fordham Intellectual Property Law Institute, School of Law, Fordham University.

Participants who wish to claim CPD Points are reminded that they must comply strictly with the Attendance Policy set out in the CPD Guidelines. This includes signing in on arrival and signing out at the conclusion of the activity in the manner required by the organiser, and not being absent from the entire activity for more than 15 minutes. Participants who do not comply with the Attendance Policy will not be able to obtain CPD Points for attending the activity. Please refer to sileCPDcentre.sg for more information.

Please note that your photograph, audio-video or other recordings may be taken during the event for use by Singapore Management University in social media, promotional collaterals, event publicity, and other related purposes.