IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The drawbacks of preferential trade agreements in Asia


  • Dieter, Heribert


Preferential trade agreements are mushrooming in Asia. However, they have not been facilitating intra-regional trade as much as the supporters of these exclusive arrangements have suggested. The complexities of rules of origin - part and parcel of all preferential agreements - have resulted in low utilization rates in Asia. The key driver of trade integration in Asia has been the rise of China, and not preferential trade agreements. In the last two decades, Chinas has managed to establish itself as the indispensable trading partner in the region. In 2011, China accepted a trade deficit with its neighbouring countries whilst producing surpluses with the USA and the EU. At the same time, deeper trade integration in Asia, e.g. an Asian wide customs union, appears to be unrealistic. At this juncture, the political obstacles that hinder a deepening of co-operation are formidable. Other Asian countries like to co-operate with China, but demonstrate an even rising reluctance to enter far-reaching integration projects with Bejing.

Suggested Citation

  • Dieter, Heribert, 2012. "The drawbacks of preferential trade agreements in Asia," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-68, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201268

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Donghyun Park & Innwon Park & Gemma Esther B. Estrada, 2009. "Prospects for ASEAN-China Free Trade Area: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 17(4), pages 104-120.
    2. Ross Garnaut & David Vines, 2007. "Regional free-trade areas: sorting out the tangled spaghetti," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 508-527, Autumn.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Regional integration; Asian co-operation; ASEAN; China; preferential trade agreements;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements


    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:zbw:ifwedp:201268. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). 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.