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Free Trade Areas in East Asia: Discriminatory or Non-discriminatory?


  • Jong-Wha Lee
  • Innwon Park


The debates on regional trade arrangements in East Asia focus on whether the RTAs can be net trade creating or diverting, and whether they impede multilateral trade liberalisation or not. This paper attempts to answer these questions by quantitatively estimating the economic impact of possible East Asian free trade areas based on a bilateral gravity model, and evaluating the main characteristics of the proposed FTAs. We find that the trade creation effect expected from the proposed East Asian FTAs such as a China-Japan-Korea or an ASEAN plus three (China, Japan, Korea) FTA will be significant enough to overwhelm the trade diversion effect. We also judge that East Asian FTAs will likely be a building block for a global free trade. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Jong-Wha Lee & Innwon Park, 2005. "Free Trade Areas in East Asia: Discriminatory or Non-discriminatory?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 21-48, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:28:y:2005:i:1:p:21-48

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