Patterns and determinants of intra-industry trade in Asia
Intra-industry trade (IIT) has gained in importance across Asia as a result of the rapid growth of Asian economies and their key role in the international fragmentation of production. This paper examines the level of IIT for 22 countries in East, Southeast, South, and Central Asia in 2003. IIT is measured as a multilateral trade-weighted index and is reported for ten different categories of goods in the primary and secondary sectors. In addition, the determinants of IIT are investigated using a Tobit regression model. The results indicate that ASEAN and the high-income countries in East Asia exhibit the highest levels of IIT, followed closely by China and India. R&D spending, openness, and a higher share of manufactured exports were found to promote IIT, while geographical distance and the difference in economic size had an adverse effect, especially for manufactured goods. The ASEAN free trade area was most prominently associated with IIT across all SITC categories. Central and South Asian regional trade agreements had a positive influence on IIT in primary products.
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