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Prospect And Challenges Of East Asian Economic Integration: A South Korean Perspective


  • Choong Yong Ahn

    () (Department of Economics, Chung-Ang University)


Although East Asia is regarded as one of the three major economic pillars in the world, it still has the lowest level of economic cooperation and integration compared to the EU and NAFTA. The Asian financial crisis in 1997/98 triggered a sense of 'East Asian regional identity.' A 'functional integration' in East Asia has already occurred in the form of FTAs and some regional monetary cooperation. Although belatedly, South Korea has taken a highly proactive multi-track FTA policy stance so that FTAs can serve as effective and expeditious trade policy tools for economic restructuring geared to sustainable economic growth and consumer welfare, jump starting the multilateral DDA process. China, Japan, and South Korea have been scrambling for an FTA with ASEAN. China-led regional FTA and Japan-led FTA in an uncooperative game are likely to generate hub-spoke bilateralism in East Asia. East Asia should work out an ASEAN + China, Japan, Korea FTA that could set the tone for East Asian integration from a long term perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Choong Yong Ahn, 2006. "Prospect And Challenges Of East Asian Economic Integration: A South Korean Perspective," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 31(2), pages 187-215, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jed:journl:v:31:y:2006:i:2:p:187-215

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    More about this item


    Economic Integration; Regional FTAs; FTA; ASEAN; South Korea;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission


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