Policy Study East Asia as a Regional Force for Globalism 1993.07.01
The success of the East Asian developing economies` trade
and growth during the last three decades has been associated
with rapid regionalization of trade in East Asia. It also has been
associated with the weakening of the multilateral trading system
which is in part due to a trilateral trading pattern among Japan,
developing East Asia, and the Western industrial countries.
East Asia`s export success, however, would not have been
possible without the availability of the Asia-Pacific market
which included the North American market. The availability of
the European market has been rather limited, and as a result,
two large integrated region has been due to the globalist trade
policies of both the East Asian economies and the North
American countries, especially the United States. Over time, due
to the rapid growth of the developing economies in East Asia,
the East Asian market has been growing more rapidly than that
of North American.
Thus, regionalization of East Asian trade should not be
attributed to the promotion of regional integration in East Asia.
To the contrary. the East Asian economies have been pursuing a
rather aggressive globalist approach to international integration,
which has promoted economic integration with north America, in
particular. In the meantime. the international trading environment
has been worsening. The revival of regionalism, especially in
Western Europe and North America, has been the most
fundamental threat to the efficacy of the globalist trade policies
of the East Asian economies. What should be East Asia`s
response to this threat? East Asia should simultaneously pursue
what may appear to be two conflicting courses of actions. One
is the pursuit of open regionalism. This involves coordinating
efforts to harmonize national policies, practises, and institution
and investing in various infrastructures to reducing the physical,
communicational, and cultural gaps among the regional
economies. An East Asian trade bloc will not be acceptable,
The other course of actions is to make efforts to strengthen
the multilateral trading system. A special coordinated effort
should be made to bring the Uruguay Round to a successful
conclusion. Furthermore, efforts should be made to launch a
GATT-Plus agreement after the successful or unsuccessful
conclusion of the Uruguay Round. Core participants in the initial
agreement are likely to be the economies in the Asia-Pacific
region. Despite its similarity to a GATT-Plus agreement with
the Asia-Pacific focus, a pacific Free Trade Area as an
extension of NAFTA does not seem to be feasible.
In order to practise open regionalism as well as globalism,
the East Asian economies need other major economies in the
Asia-Pacific region as partners. This point underlines the
importance of the APEC process. APEC should be assigned the
central role in any type of cooperative effort among the
Asia-Pacific economies, and both NAFTA and AFTA should be
brought under the supervisory responsibility of APEC.
Ⅰ. The Changing Pattern of East Asian Trade
Ⅱ. The Pattern of Economic Integration in East Asia
Ⅲ. East Asia`s Strategy for the Future : Regionalism or
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