General Issues and Regional Groups
Edited by Miroslav N. Jovanović
Chapter 17: East Asia’s Economic Integration and Institutional Cooperation for Further Integration
Daisuke Hiratsuka 1 INTRODUCTION De facto economic integration (informal integration), in particular, in trade, has developed in East Asia, while de jure economic integration (formal integration) in the form of regional trade agreements (RTAs) lag behind in the region (Fouquin et al., 2006). When de facto economic integration of East Asia is discussed, we are usually referring to 10 ASEAN countries, plus China, Japan and Korea (ASEAN+3) plus Taiwan and Hong Kong since production networks have developed among those countries. Indeed, East Asia, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, has attained a higher intra-regional trade ratio than any other geographical combination in East Asia. On the other hand, when we discuss de jure economic integration, we are instead usually referring to the geographical area of ASEAN+3, because the ASEAN+3 regional cooperation process has been evolving in many fields, such as currency, energy, environment, health and so on, since 1997 when the Asian currency crisis erupted. More recently, the ASEAN+6 regional cooperation process, comprising 10 ASEAN countries plus Australia, China, Japan, Korea, India and New Zealand, is emerging. The first East Asia Summit (EAS) was held in Malaysia in 2005, and since then the ASEAN+3 meeting and the EAS have been held sequentially on the same day. This chapter covers the ASEAN+6 countries. Hong Kong and Taiwan are excluded from consideration because the regional cooperation process on institutions has been advancing on a government to government basis in East Asia. The geographical area of ASEAN+6 has an increasing influence on the global...
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