Regionalism, Trade and Economic Development in the Asia-Pacific Region
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Regionalism, Trade and Economic Development in the Asia-Pacific Region

Edited by M. A.B. Siddique

This book is based on the premise that Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) in the Asia-Pacific significantly impact on the material progress of the peoples of this region. These impacts – in terms of the benefits and costs associated with RTAs – will vary greatly from country to country. The internationally acclaimed contributors examine the theoretical perspective of RTAs in relation to exchange rates, the role and goals of the WTO and agriculture.
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Chapter 4: Major Trade Trends in APEC Economies: Implications for Regional Trade Agreements

Yanrui Wu


4. Major trade trends in APEC economies: implications for regional free trade agreements Yanrui Wu INTRODUCTION The concept of bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) has recently attracted a lot of attention in the Asia-Pacific region.1 Several countries are leading the race by successfully signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with each other. For example, Australia recently completed FTAs with Singapore, Thailand and the United States; Singapore had an FTA with Chile, New Zealand and the United States, respectively. Other members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group are also in the process of negotiation towards an FTA such as Australia and China, and Japan and ASEAN. There is, however, little empirical research which would provide economic rationales for the completion of those FTAs and potentially more to be signed. This chapter attempts to make a contribution towards the understanding of bilateral trade among APEC economies by examining the changing trends in trade among APEC members, and between members and non-members, and to use the findings to draw implications for regional free trade agreements. This chapter is not aimed at presenting a comprehensive survey of the field. Instead it focuses on several key issues associated with bilateral trade between APEC economies and sheds some light on the development of FTAs in the Asia-Pacific region. The rest of the chapter begins with a description of the trend in growth of trade among APEC members. This is followed by an examination of intra-regional trade and then an exploration of comparative advantages...

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