Political Economy of Northeast Asian Regionalism
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Political Economy of Northeast Asian Regionalism

Political Conflict and Economic Integration

Edited by Jehoon Park, T. J. Pempel and Gérard Roland

This book is an objective analysis combining both ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ (most notably US) perspectives of Northeast Asian regionalism. It also usefully applies regional integration theories to the realities of the Northeast Asian situation and presents policy options for regional integration.
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Chapter 5: The Progress of Korea’s FTA Policy in the Context of Northeast Asian Economic Cooperation

Inkyo Cheong


Inkyo Cheong One of the motives behind Korea’s active approach towards FTAs is its strategy for developing the nation to be an open trading country in the world. Since the enactment of the Korea–Chile FTA in 2004, the Korean people have become more confident about the liberalization of the market through FTAs. The FTA with Chile enabled the public to realize that the benefits of the FTA were greater than expected, with smaller losses for its weak industry (agriculture). The government introduced an ‘open trading country’ as one of its policy goals in 2005, and began to regard FTAs as being one of the most efficient policy tools in achieving the goal. The Korea–Chile FTA also helped the people to realize that the promotion of FTAs is one of the essential trade policy tools in order to secure the growth engine of the Korean economy and to create the foundation for becoming an advanced economy with high national and per capita incomes. Korea’s pursuit of FTAs will help it to become the business hub in Northeast Asia, and will finally result in creating a foundation for an advanced and more competitive trading power. This chapter will summarize current progress of Korea’s FTA policy in terms of its open trading country goal and FTA roadmap, a US–Korea FTA, and Korea’s position regarding FTAs with Japan and China. Finally, a conclusion is provided, proposing that the government take a more active and progressive position regarding FTAs...

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