The Economics of International Integration, Second Edition

The Economics of International Integration, Second Edition

Miroslav N. Jovanović

The dissipating multilateral trading system and splintering in a number of trading blocs and arrangements has been one of the most important issues in international economics, particularly after the establishment of the World Trade Organisation in 1995 and especially during the Doha Round (2001-13). This book takes on those and new issues such as integration through spatially fragmented production and operation of supply chains. It also reviews various existing and emerging integration arrangements and their achievements. International economic integration deals are here to stay and evolve with variable successes in spite of advantages offered by the multilateral trading system.

Chapter 9: Conclusions

Miroslav N. Jovanović

Subjects: economics and finance, international economics, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Chapter 9 concludes the book and argues that regional economic integration is now here to stay. Even though the results of the Uruguay Round provided a major impetus to multilateral solutions in international trade, regional trade arrangements (mainly free trade areas) continue to proliferate. The new post-Doha Round WTO is unlikely to stop that trend. Multilateral liberalisation and regionalism could be mutually reinforcing, provided that the regional integration schemes adopt a relatively liberal external trade and investment policy, and that they cooperate. On those grounds, and if these conditions hold, integration arrangements may be a favourable development for the world economy. It is important to bear in mind that countries grow richer together in the medium and long term, not at each other’s expense.

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