Singapore's Role in Building of an East Asian Community
An East Asian community(EAC) is an idea now being seriously pursued in spite of significant challenges. Proliferating bilateral deals in Asia could emerge as building blocks towards the EAC, provided they are comprehensive, ROOs simple and are in the EPA mould. Attention needs to be given to managing transaction costs. However such initiatives need to be concomitantly supported by unilateral liberalization in most of these countries, especially in India, China and the less developed ASEAN members, with the rest of the world in a calibrated and judicious manner ; effective implementation would be crucial. Singapore is already well placed to take advantage of the EAC, and has signaled its preference for a broader membership than APT through its FTAs with India, Australia and New Zealand. A strong case for inclusion of India in the EAC given its increasing integration with East Asia providing win-win opportunities.
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