Chapter 2: East Asian Economic Integration and its Impact on the Chinese Economy
* Yanghua Huang and Yongsheng Zhang 2.1 INTRODUCTION As one of the world’s three largest economic poles, East Asia plays an increasingly important role in the global economy. This region includes Japan, four “Asian Tigers” (i.e., Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan), the second generation of newly industrialized economies (NIEs, i.e., Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand), and the world’s largest developing economy, China. Two billion people in the region account for about a third of the world’s population. The significant economic progress achieved in the past decades in East Asia has soundly enhanced the human welfare of the world. In 2008, the total GDP of ASEAN13, as the ten ASEAN1 member countries and China, Japan and Korea are known, was US$ 11.63 trillion, accounting for about 19.20 per cent of the world’s GDP of US$ 60.56 trillion.2 In 2009, East Asia’s trade volume was US$ 6.37 trillion, or one fourth of the world’s total volume and the official foreign reserves stood at US$ 2.7 trillion, half the world’s total reserve pool. After the Asian financial crisis in 1997–98, a sense of economic regionalism has strengthened significantly. East Asian economic integration, in terms of trade, investment and institutional cooperative initiatives, has been developing rapidly. Intra-regional trade has risen steadily and accounts now for roughly half of the region’s total exports to the world. In 2009, intra-regional FDI accounted for as much as half of the region’s inward FDI stock, compared with 43 per cent in 2005 and 32 per cent in...
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