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Managing the Noodle Bowl: The Fragility of East Asian Regionalism

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  • Baldwin, Richard

Abstract

The paper argues that East Asian regionalism is fragile since (i) each nation's industrial competitiveness depends on the smooth functioning of 'Factory Asia' - in particular on intra-regional trade; (ii) the unilateral tariff-cutting that created 'Factory Asia' is not subject to WTO discipline (bindings); (iii) there is no 'top-level management' to substitute for WTO discipline, i.e. to ensure that bilateral trade tensions - tensions that are inevitable in East Asia - do not spillover into region-wide problems due to lack of cooperation and communication. This paper argues that the window of opportunity for East Asian 'vision' was missed; what East Asia needs now is 'management' not vision. East Asia should launch a 'New East Asian Regional Management Effort' with a reinforced ASEAN+3 being the most likely candidate for the job. The first priority should be to bind the region's unilateral tariff cuts in the WTO.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5561.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5561

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Keywords: East Asia; management not vision; noodle bowl; regionalism;

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References

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  1. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2003. "Fragmentation and agglomeration matter: Japanese multinationals in Latin America and East Asia," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 287-317, December.
  2. Fukao, Kyoji & Ishido, Hikari & Ito, Keiko, 2003. "Vertical intra-industry trade and foreign direct investment in East Asia," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 468-506, December.
  3. Kimura, Fukunari & Takahashi, Yuya & Hayakawa, Kazunobu, 2007. "Fragmentation and parts and components trade: Comparison between East Asia and Europe," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 23-40, February.
  4. Richard E. Baldwin, 1997. "The Causes of Regionalism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(7), pages 865-888, November.
  5. Daisuke Hiratsuka, 2011. "Production Networks in Asia : A Case Study from the Hard Disk Drive Industry," Microeconomics Working Papers 23235, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  6. O G Dayaratna Banda & John Whalley, 2005. "Beyond Goods and Services: Competition Policy, Investment, Mutual Recognition, Movement of Persons, and Broader Cooperation Provisions of Recent FTAs involving ASEAN Countries," NBER Working Papers 11232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ng, Francis & Yeats, Alexander, 2003. "Major trade trends in East Asia : what are their implications for regional cooperation and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3084, The World Bank.
  8. Mitsuyo Ando & Fukinari Kimura, 2003. "The Formation of International Production and Distribution Networks in East Asia," NBER Working Papers 10167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2005. "Two-dimensional fragmentation in East Asia: Conceptual framework and empirics," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 317-348.
  10. repec:idb:brikps:9179 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  12. repec:rus:hseeco:123689 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. AUGIER Patricia & GAZIOREK Michael & LAITONG Charles, 2004. "The Impact of Rules of Origin On Trade Flows," International Trade 0404001, EconWPA.
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