Is the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area (AKFTA) an Optimal Free Trade Area?
The 1997/98 Asian currency crisis has led a once high-flying East Asia to realize its vulnerability to external shocks. This realization has given strong impetus to greater economic integration among East Asian economies, with the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area (AKFTA) a case in point. This paper qualitatively and quantitatively examines the economic feasibility of AKFTA: qualitatively using the theory of economic integration, and quantitatively by applying a CGE model. Our two-dimensional analysis provides some, but not overwhelming, support for AKFTA's prospects as an effective means of promoting trade between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea.
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