Trade Arrangements and Evolving East Asian and Asia Pacific


1 University of Auckland, New Zealand

2 Utah State University, USA


The paper begins by noting that proposals involving significant developments in the regional tradearchitecture are being developed within regional processes that in some cases are simultaneouslypursuing other dimensions of regional economic integration: monetary and financial cooperation inthe case of ASEAN + 3, and the establishment of a common market in the case of ASEAN. At leastthree of these regional processes (ASEAN, ASEAN +3, and APEC) count among their ultimateobjectives the development of some form of regional “community”, with a scope in that each caseincludes but also goes beyond traditional elements of regional economic integration.This paper then considers the economic analysis and evidence relating to the choice of optimalregional trade architecture for the Asia-Pacific region, and the extent to which it might correspond toany of the trade architectures currently being proposed. The analysis will include the possibility thatoptimal regional trade architecture might extend beyond the conventionally-defined boundaries ofthe Asia-Pacific region. The paper then goes on to consider questions of coherence between anoptimal regional trade architecture and the ongoing pursuit of other elements of regional economicintegration within other regional processes. This leads to a discussion of coherence between thedifferent regional integration processes themselves and their variously specified objectives,including any changes that might be proposed to enhance coherence.JEL Classification: F10, F15*