IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic Integration and Regional Cooperation in East Asia - A Pragmatic View


  • Josef T. Yap

    (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)


Intra-regional trade and investment among the ASEAN+3 countriesand the entire East Asiahas been progressing at a robust pace over the past 25 years. The process of economic integration could be aptly described as regionalization or marketdriven integration. In contrast, the European Union has followed regionalism which refers to formal economic cooperation and economic arrangements. Over the past decade, efforts at promoting closer regionalism in East Asia have been stepped up for various reasons, including : i) a response to the experience and lessons of the 1997 financial crisis; ii) the gridlock in the Doha round, success of NAFTA, and expansion of the EU; and iii) the mitigation of political factors that prevented closer cooperation in the past, e.g. competition between China and Japan. However, the structure of East Asia regionalism should be analyzed carefully, in particular because the direct economic benefits of an East Asia FTA are questionable. Therefore, the configuration of the proposed East Asian Community must be developed pragmatically. It is argued that at this stage the EAFTA and EAC should still be promoted but with the view that their benefits are primarily political. The political windfall will likely lead to significant economic benefits, particularly in terms of narrowing the development gap in the region and advancing common interests in a global-rules setting. The political and institutional imperatives of establishing the EAFTA or EAC at this stage depend largely on whether countries of the region seek to expand economic ties or whether they would want to secure the political gains from closer integration and cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Josef T. Yap, 2005. "Economic Integration and Regional Cooperation in East Asia - A Pragmatic View," Trade Working Papers 22003, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:tradew:22003

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Parikh, Ashok & Shibata, Miyuki, 2004. "Does trade liberalization accelerate convergence in per capita incomes in developing countries?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 33-48, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dilip K. Das, 2008. "South Asia's Integration with the Rest of Asia: a survey," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 22(1), pages 25-40, May.

    More about this item


    East Asia Free Trade Agreement; East Asian Community; regionalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eab:tradew:22003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shiro Armstrong). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.