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Are Regional Trade Agreements in Asia Stumbling or Building Blocks? Some Implications for the Mekong-3 Countries

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  • Patrizia Tumbarello
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    Abstract

    Is the recent proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) in Asia a healthy development, or runs the risk of turning into an unmanageable "noodle bowl" in the future? The goal of this paper is to shed some light on this question. The results show that membership in the Asian RTAs considered in this study have not, to date, occurred at the expense of trade with nonmembers, as most Asian countries'' integration with the global economy preceded regional integration. However, looking forward, given their discriminatory nature, a proliferation of RTAs, which is not accompanied by continuing unilateral and multilateral liberalization, could run the risk of leading to costly trade diversion.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/53.

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    Length: 27
    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/53

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    Related research

    Keywords: Asia; Economic models; regional trade; trade agreements; trade diversion; free trade; rules of origin; regional integration; regional trade agreements; preferential trade; preferential trade agreements; regionalism; trade flows; trade agreement; trade creation; multilateral liberalization; trade integration; free trade area; trade area; bloc trade; intra-regional trade; tariff rates; trade data; bilateral trade; economic integration; regional trade integration; free trade agreement; aggregate trade; most-favored-nation; trade liberalization; unilateral liberalization; economic cooperation; regional cooperation; trade arrangements; mfn tariffs; trade effects; preferential trading; preferential agreements; international trade; evidence of trade diversion; multilateral trade; bilateral trade flows; trade effect; regional agreements; free trade agreements; nonmember trading partners; trade creating; tariff preferences; trading arrangement; trade regimes; intra-asean trade; trading partners; per capita income; trade reforms; multilateral trade arrangements; trade patterns; importing country; dispute settlement; trade theory; trade areas; multilateralism; free trade areas; common market; trading system; trading arrangements; trade facilitation; political economy; open regionalism; economic community; regional trade arrangements; trade diversion effect; outward-looking pattern; member imports; bilateral agreements; increased trade; free trade zone; nondiscriminatory trade; trade facilitation measures; trade preferences; preferential tariff; foreign trade; trade pattern; trade openness; economic partnership agreement; adjustment period; nontariff barriers; intermediate goods; global integration; regional markets; perfect competition; neighboring countries; world markets; international integration; changes in trade; trade barriers; open trade; intra regional trade; regional agreement; multilateral trade liberalization; pattern of trade; multilateral level; regional integration efforts; regional trade blocs; dispute settlement mechanism; tariff reduction; world economy; trade dispute; integration efforts; trade blocs; preferential trade agreement; preferential arrangements; intra- asean trade; bilateral trade agreements; trade relations; country imports; preferential trading arrangements; regional groups; regional trading arrangements; liberal trade; trade bloc; regional level; domestic production; global liberalization; dispute settlement provisions; volume of trade; regional market; import duties; merchandise trade; measure of trade; nondiscriminatory trade liberalization; trade flow; trade partners;

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    1. Patrizia Tumbarello, 2005. "Regional Trade Integration and WTO Accession," IMF Working Papers 05/94, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Haveman, J-D & Hummels, D, 1996. "Trade Creation and Trade Diversion : New Empirical Results," Papers, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) 96-004, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
    3. Baldwin, Richard, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Philippa Dee & Jyothi Gali, 2005. "The Trade and Investment Effects of Preferential Trading Arrangements," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: International Trade in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 14, pages 133-176 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Fukunari KIMURA, 2006. "International Production and Distribution Networks in East Asia: Eighteen Facts, Mechanics, and Policy Implications," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 1(2), pages 326-344.
    6. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    7. Soloaga, Isidro & Alan Wintersb, L., 2001. "Regionalism in the nineties: what effect on trade?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
    8. Ghosh, Sucharita & Yamarik, Steven, 2004. "Are regional trading arrangements trade creating?: An application of extreme bounds analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 369-395, July.
    9. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
    10. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
    11. Deltas, George & Desmet, Klaus & Facchini, Giovanni, 2006. "Hub-and-Spoke Free Trade Areas," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5960, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan, 2005. "Preferential Trade Agreements in the Asia-Pacific Region," IMF Working Papers 05/149, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:
    1. Masahiro Kawai & Ganeshan Wignaraja, 2009. "The Asian “Noodle Bowlâ€:Is It Serious for Business?," Working Papers id:1936, eSocialSciences.

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