Economic Integration in East Asia

Economic Integration in East Asia

Perspectives from Spatial and Neoclassical Economics

Edited by Masahisa Fujita, Satoru Kumagai and Koji Nishikimi

Increasing numbers of free trade and economic partnership agreements have been concluded among many countries in East Asia, and economic integration has progressed rapidly on both a de facto and de jure basis. However, as the authors of this book argue, integration may intensify regional inequalities in East Asia and so this process has attracted much attention of late. Will it actually succeed in achieving greater economic growth or will it in fact cause growing regional disparity?

Chapter 5: Evolution of Institutions and Policies for Economic Integration in East Asia: History and Prospects

Yoshihiro Otsuji and Kunihiko Shinoda

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian economics, development studies, development economics, economics and finance, asian economics, development economics, regional economics, geography, economic geography, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Yoshihiro Otsuji and Kunihiko Shinoda INTRODUCTION 5.1 As discussed in Chapter 4, de facto economic integration in East Asia has been substantially accelerated by the development of industrial clusters, a phenomenon that has accompanied the increasing investment of MNEs in the region since the Plaza Accord of 1985. Moreover, in terms of economic systems and policies, great efforts have been made to promote liberalization and rule-making in trade and investment to facilitate economic integration in East Asia. Most of the East Asian countries are enthusiastically concluding FTAs and EPAs with each other. Accordingly, from now on, economic integration is expected to progress further on a de jure as well as on a de facto basis. In this chapter, we shall study the development process of the institutional and policy framework for economic integration in East Asia, with special reference to the policy issues that each of the ASEAN member states, as well as China and Japan, currently encounters. Individual institutions and policy measures are not necessarily based on considerations of spatial economics. However, close examination and analysis of these aspects are essential in order to develop a clear picture of regional economic integration. We thus attempt to examine the historical progress of East Asian economic integration and analyze the institutional and policy issues that have to be overcome for deepening the integration among the countries of the region. The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows. Section 5.2 presents a historical overview of developing regional systems in East...

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