Global Context and Local Policies
Chapter 10: Northeast Asia: regional logistics policy
No attempt is made here to outline a logistics policy for the entire Asian-Pacific Rim. Rather, attention is focused on Northeast Asia, which has lagged behind Europe, North America, South America and Southeast Asia in establishing an integrated regional logistics market. In the new millennium interest has been revived in developing a joint logistics policy between China, Japan and South Korea because progress has been so tardy on the more difficult task of establishing a trilateral free trade agreement, customs union or common market. Since November 2012 the three countries have been negotiating a China–Japan–South Korea Free Trade Agreement (CJK FTA) to be implemented within two or three years. While talks continue at regular meetings on this formal mechanism covering tariffs, investments and services, attention is meanwhile being focused on strengthening economic interdependence and intensifying social exchanges within Northeast Asia through informal mechanisms that involve developing an efficient logistics network. Offering a less political approach to regional development, these mechanisms include the identification of transnational economic corridors and the development of special economic zones straddling border areas, offering a fall-back position should unresolved territorial issues derail completion of a trilateral Free Trade Agreement. Before examining this new interest in developing a regional logistics policy, a series of issues have to be addressed.
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