Crisis Reinforces Need for Stronger Trade and Financial Integration in Asia and the Pacific
In: Challenges and Opportunities for Trade and Financial Integration in Asia and the Pacific
The Asian economies have become an epitome of "trade as an engine of growth" during the past several decades as they have been expanding economic and human development, using trade as a ladder. Most of the economies have become highly integrated into the world economy, either through direct export and import or by becoming an important link in the global supply chain. However, when demand for their production and exports plunged suddenly and sharply in the last quarter of 2008, a sharp contraction in trade flows put their growth and social security under series threat. On such occasions, issues of dependency on external markets, foreign exchange, foreign direct investment (FDI) and technology rise to the surface and chosen development strategies get reviewed. In Asia and the Pacific, this is accompanied by the concerns about the inability of the region's economies to enhance and deepen their regional integration. Expectedly, the latest crisis has accentuated the concerns about low levels of existing intraregional trade and investments as well as underdeveloped financial integration in Asia and the Pacific.
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