Pauline Agius

Pauline Agius is an associate in the firm’s Public Policy Practice group. With extensive work experience across the EU and APAC regions, Pauline helps clients navigate complex regulatory issues internationally. Her practice focuses on pharmaceutical and medical devices, energy, and infrastructure sectors.

  • Pharmaceutical and medical devices: Pauline has helped clients raise Japanese Diet members’ awareness of the benefits of cannabis-derived medicine for people with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder and of the importance of access to non-invasive prenatal testing. Pauline counsels clients on the regulation of medical devices in the EU.
  • Energy: Pauline provided regulatory advice and assisted with a bid submission to the first ever offshore wind project off the coast of Japan. Pauline has project finance and project development experience, as part of which she advised on a number of solar, LNG and hydropower transactions across Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.
  • Infrastructure: Pauline provided regulatory advice and assisted with a bid submission for a prospective integrated resort – a first in Japan.

Pauline has an MBA from INSEAD, a degree in Accounting and Finance from LSE, and speaks fluent Mandarin and Japanese.


On December 14, 2023, the U.S. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2024 (NDAA), authorizing $886 billion in defense spending. Amid its numerous provisions, there is the concept of the “national technology and industrial base,” which now includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and could potentially serve as the basis for wider industrial cooperation with European and other global partners. This could provide useful synergies with ongoing efforts in Europe to galvanize defense production and help ensure an enduring competitive edge for the wider West over potential adversaries—within NATO and with global partners.

The Global “National Technology and Industrial Base”

The national technology and industrial base (NTIB) is defined in U.S. law as “the persons and organizations that are engaged in research, development, production, integration, services, or information technology activities” in national security and dual-use areas. First established in 1994, NTIB initially included only Canada in addition to the United States. In 2016, however, United Kingdom and Australia were added, followed by New Zealand in 2022. NTIB entities may receive preference for certain limited procurement actions and may be exempted from certain foreign ownership or control/influence requirements.

The logic behind this initial expansion was to foster industrial defense cooperation among the Five Eyes allies, which already had provisions for intelligence sharing potentially required for sophisticated military projects. And the expected benefits were to leverage economies of scale, promote innovation, and increase interoperability.

Given Russia’s large-scale war of aggression against Ukraine and the longer-term challenge from China, the NTIB could be expanded further to ensure that the wider West is able to produce the military materiel required to deter and confront any security challenges. The United States and its NATO Allies have already faced stockpile constraints in providing weapons supply to Ukraine to continue waging its defense. Now, the 2024 NDAA has added Israel and Taiwan to a program started to expedite delivery and replenishment of munitions to Ukraine, which will put further pressure on existing production. The NTIB could also serve as the fulcrum to leverage European defense initiatives in light of Russia’s war of aggression.

European Defense Initiatives

The European defense landscape has long been characterized by severe under-investment and fragmentation among Member States, with less than one-fifth of investments in defense programs conducted in cooperation. In 2009, the European Union expressed its willingness to facilitate joint procurement with the adoption of procurement rules for munitions, arms, and war material in the Defense Procurement Directive. However, implementation was lacking, and most procurement contracts were still awarded without an EU-wide tender.Continue Reading U.S. Defense Bill’s Implications for European and Global Partners