Perspectives from Spatial and Neoclassical Economics
Edited by Masahisa Fujita, Satoru Kumagai and Koji Nishikimi
Chapter 6: Economic Integration in Asia: European Pespectives
6. Economic integration in Asia: European perspectives Anthony J. Venables, L. Alan Winters and Linda Yueh 6.1 INTRODUCTION Europe’s integration project has now been running for half a century, a period spanning the postwar birth of economic cooperation and the more recent enlargements and deepening of the union. The project has been enormously successful in both political and economic terms, although there have been frequent tensions and undoubted failures. This chapter draws out some of the main messages from the European experience of integration. We look at both the political and institutional development of the European Union, and at its economic development. What have been the driving forces behind the integration process? What institutions have developed to manage integration? What has been the impact of integration on trade ﬂows and income levels across European countries? We then endeavor to draw out some of the lessons that the European experience may have for integration in Asia. Evidently, the two continents are very diﬀerent in both political and economic terms. On the economic side, integration has had a large impact on European trade and incomes, both through trade creation and through intensifying competition. One might argue that the heterogeneity of countries in Asia oﬀers an even greater potential for trade creation, and also for using integration to facilitate the development of production networks. On the political level, European experience suggests that achieving the economic gains has required continuing and far-reaching policy measures. These, in turn, require a deep political commitment...
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