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ASEAN and China: Export Rivals or Partners in Regional Growth?


  • David Roland Holst
  • John Weiss


Rivalry in trade between China and its regional neighbours in ASEAN has become a major preoccupation for many regional policy-makers. For these reasons, strengthening the basis of empirical evidence on regional trade relations is especially important, and this paper does so in two ways. Using very detailed historical trade data, we combine econometric and trade flow analysis to elucidate patterns of export competition and underlying comparative advantage for ASEAN and China. Our findings indicate that the potential exists for both export rivalry and more extensive trade complementarity, but so do many challenges for policy makers who seek to mitigate adjustment costs and facilitate long term efficiency. Our econometric results indicate that, in the short run at least, ASEAN and China are experiencing intensified export competition in prominent third markets such as Japan and the US. More extensive trade flow analysis reveals, however, that in the long run globalisation can accommodate export growth by all the economies of East Asia, if aggregate growth can be sustained to facilitate the structural adjustments necessary for an optimal regional division of labour. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • David Roland Holst & John Weiss, 2004. "ASEAN and China: Export Rivals or Partners in Regional Growth?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(8), pages 1255-1274, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:27:y:2004:i:8:p:1255-1274

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yang, Shanping & Martinez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada, 2014. "A panel data analysis of trade creation and trade diversion effects: The case of ASEAN–China Free Trade Area," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 138-151.
    2. Prema-Chandra Athukorala, 2006. "Post-crisis export performance: The Indonesian experience in regional perspective," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 177-211.
    3. Burça Kýzýlýrmak & Emel Memiþ & Þirin Saracoðlu & Ebru Voyvoda, 2014. "Changes in Global Trade Patterns and Women's Employment in Manufacturing: An Analysis Over the Period of Asianization and De-industrialization," Working Papers 2014/1, Turkish Economic Association.
    4. Chris Dixon, 2010. "The 1997 Economic Crisis, Reform and Southeast Asian Growth," Chapters,in: The New Political Economy of Southeast Asia, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. John Weiss, 2010. "People’s Republic of China and its Neighbors: Partners or Competitors for Trade and Investment?," Working Papers id:3303, eSocialSciences.
    6. Coxhead, Ian & Jayasuriya, Sisira, 2008. "The Rise of China and India and the Commodity Boom: Economic and Environmental Implications for Low-Income Countries," Staff Paper Series 528, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    7. Pula, Gabor & Santabárbara, Daniel, 2011. "Is China climbing up the quality ladder? Estimating cross country differences in product quality using Eurostat's COMEXT trade database," Working Paper Series 1310, European Central Bank.
    8. Wong, Chin-Yoong & Eng, Yoke-Kee & Habibullah, Muzafar Shah, 2014. "Rising China, anxious Asia? A Bayesian New Keynesian view," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 90-106.
    9. Myint Moe Chit & Marian Rizov & Dirk Willenbockel, 2010. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Exports: New Empirical Evidence from the Emerging East Asian Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 239-263, February.
    10. Tan, Madeleine Sui-Lay, 2016. "Policy coordination among the ASEAN-5: A global VAR analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 20-40.
    11. Fithra Faisal Hastiadi Author_Email:, 2011. "East Asian Regionalism: The Way Forward," 2nd International Conference on Business and Economic Research (2nd ICBER 2011) Proceeding 2011-153, Conference Master Resources.

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