IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are Regional Trade Agreements in Asia Stumbling or Building Blocks? Implications for the Mekong-3 Countries


  • Patrizia Tumbarello


Is the recent proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) in Asia a healthy development, or runs the risk of turning into an unmanageable "noodle bowl" in the future? The goal of this paper is to shed some light on this question. The results show that membership in the Asian RTAs considered in this study have not, to date, occurred at the expense of trade with nonmembers, as most Asian countries' integration with the global economy preceded regional integration. However, looking forward, given their discriminatory nature, a proliferation of RTAs, which is not accompanied by continuing unilateral and multilateral liberalization, could run the risk of leading to costly trade diversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrizia Tumbarello, 2007. "Are Regional Trade Agreements in Asia Stumbling or Building Blocks? Implications for the Mekong-3 Countries," IMF Working Papers 07/53, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/53

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    2. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-481, August.
    3. Soloaga, Isidro & Alan Wintersb, L., 2001. "Regionalism in the nineties: what effect on trade?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
    4. Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan, 2005. "Preferential Trade Agreements in the Asia-Pacific Region," IMF Working Papers 05/149, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Deltas, George & Desmet, Klaus & Facchini, Giovanni, 2006. "Hub-and-Spoke Free Trade Areas," CEPR Discussion Papers 5960, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Fukunari KIMURA, 2006. "International Production and Distribution Networks in East Asia: Eighteen Facts, Mechanics, and Policy Implications," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 1(2), pages 326-344.
    7. Haveman, J-D & Hummels, D, 1996. "Trade Creation and Trade Diversion : New Empirical Results," Papers 96-004, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
    8. Richard Baldwin, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," NBER Working Papers 4465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Philippa Dee & Jyothi Gali, 2005. "The Trade and Investment Effects of Preferential Trading Arrangements," NBER Chapters,in: International Trade in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 14, pages 133-176 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Ghosh, Sucharita & Yamarik, Steven, 2004. "Are regional trading arrangements trade creating?: An application of extreme bounds analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 369-395, July.
    11. Patrizia Tumbarello, 2005. "Regional Trade Integration and WTO Accession; Which Is the Right Sequencing? An Application to the CIS," IMF Working Papers 05/94, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    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:imf:imfwpa:07/53. 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: (Jim Beardow) or (Hassan Zaidi). 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.