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Critical Review of East Asia – South America Trade




There is a general consensus that trade between East Asia and South America is becoming increasingly important. However, we know little about the actual dynamic development of this inter-regional trade. This paper examines whether the trend of East Asia–South America trade is a general phenomena or a country- and commodity-specific issue, and whether the increase in trade values has a solid basis in terms of commodity diversification and/or price and quantity effects. While South America has an overall trade surplus with East Asia, detailed country and commodity analysis of inter-regional trade reveal several potential weaknesses in South America’s trade with East Asia. Our research finds that (i) the increase in trade between the two regions can be explained mainly by the increase in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) trade with South America, (ii) the increase in the PRC’s imports from South America is limited to a few commodities, (iii) the increase in East Asia’s imports from South America is due partly to commodity price increases, and (iv) the PRC has started to export various types of electronics and machinery products to South America. Overall, East Asia’s exports to South America seem to show more promising signs of growth than South America’s exports to East Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamanaka, Shintaro & Tafgar, Aiken, 2013. "Critical Review of East Asia – South America Trade," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 105, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0105

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yap, Josef T. & Majuca, Ruperto P. & Park, Cyn-Young, 2010. "The 2008 Financial Crisis and Potential Output in Asia: Impact and Policy Implications," Discussion Papers DP 2010-11, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
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    More about this item


    Regional integration/cooperation; trade policy; inter-regional trade; East Asia trade; South America trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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