How is Business Responding?
ADBI series on Asian Economic Integration and Cooperation
Edited by Masahiro Kawai and Ganeshan Wignaraja
This study was motivated by the rapid spread of free trade agreements (FTAs) in Asia over the last decade and the on-going debate on business impacts of the Asian FTA ‘noodle bowl’. A dearth of empirical evidence from enterprises has hampered resolution of the debate and the development of pragmatic policy measures at regional and national level. The availability of comprehensive evidence from this large multi-country, multi-enterprise study offers new insights on the behaviour of firms under FTAs and ways forward to mitigate the Asian noodle bowl. The study is the outcome of a partnership between two major knowledge entities in the Asian Development Bank family – the Asian Development Bank’s Office of Regional Economic Integration (OREI) and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). Some of Asia’s best institutions and scholars were involved in the painstaking task of collecting and analysing the firm-level information. We owe special thanks to our senior country collaborators – Chia Siow Yue of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Inkyo Cheong of Korea’s Inha University, Daisuke Hiratsuka of the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization, Wisarn Pupphavesa of the Thailand Development Research Institute, and Zhang Yunling of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences – for all their hard work. There are many debts to acknowledge in a venture such as this study. The study would not have been possible without the support of the business community in the six countries – the People’s Republic of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – who...