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Potential gains from economic integration as impetus for regional integration : a comparison of ASEAN, ASEAN+3 and EAC

[working paper]

Obermeier, Axel

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Corporate Editor Universität Bamberg, Fak. Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Lehrstuhl für Internationale Beziehungen
Abstract Political economy theory usually emphasizes the impact of economic interdependence within a region for successful and dynamic regional integration. According to that, participating economies must constitute mutual export markets and investment destinations to exploit gains from intraregional trade and investment. As a consequence the integration process receives positive feedback from member states and furthers progress in regional integration. However, this paper argues that regional integration in Southeast Asia is at least as dependent on economic cooperation and positive feedback from external partner countries and regions as it is on internal economic effects. The argument will be underscored by intra- and interregional trade and investment analysis of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The ASEAN made crucial steps towards regional integration in the last decade by establishing the ASEAN Free Trade Area, promoting the ASEAN Investment Area and negotiating and implementing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with major trade partners. Due to the market patterns in the ASEAN the intraregional trade and investment stagnates at a low level. As a result it is argued that regional integration as effect of economic integration in Southeast Asia is primarily dependent on widening economic cooperation. It will be indicated that at the current status of economic development in the ASEAN, interaction with China, Japan and Korea (ASEAN+3) is more promising in evoking positive feedback than interaction with India, Australia and New Zealand (which constitute together with the ASEAN+3 the East Asian Community, a proposed trade block)." (author's abstract)
Keywords integration; political economy; interdependence; international interdependence; Southeast Asia; economy; commerce; economic cooperation; economic policy; ASEAN
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy; Political Economy
Method documentation
Free Keywords integration theory; political economy; regional integration
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
City Bamberg
Page/Pages 26 p.
Series Bamberger Online Papers on Integration Research (BOPIR), 7/2009
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne