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The rise of a Pacific community? Evolution and trends of Asia-Pacific economic cooperation

Posted on:1996-09-27Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:Princeton UniversityCandidate:Peng, DajinFull Text:PDF
This dissertation is a comprehensive study of Asia Pacific economic cooperation. It studies the origin, evolution and current development of regional cooperation in the Asia Pacific region. It argues that regional economic cooperation in the Asia Pacific region has a unique pattern different from those in Europe and America, where formal cooperation are dominant. Asia Pacific cooperation is following a dual track--both formal and informal tracks of economic cooperation. While cooperation through formal institutions such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (APEC) will increase in importance, informal approaches of economic cooperation such as the multi-tier division of labor in East Asia, subregional economic zones and East Asian business networks will also exert a strong influence in regional economic integration. Informal economic cooperation is particularly strong in the East Asia because trade barriers there tend to be informal. Formal institutional approaches are weak in dealing with those informal barriers. East Asian experience tells us that formal approaches such as free trade areas are not always the best means for regional economic cooperation.;Enhancement of regional cooperation in the Asia Pacific is part of the global trends of regionalization, but it takes a different path in the Asia Pacific. Now Asia Pacific economic cooperation is at a crossroads. While open regionalism can enhance economic welfare on both sides of the Pacific, there are strong tendencies in both America and East Asia which may eventually result in two separate regional blocs. As the only country that has strong influence on both sides of the Pacific, the move of the United States has the largest impact on whether the Asia Pacific region will be one open area or two blocs. The increasing tensions between the United States and major East Asian powers have negative impacts on U.S.-Asia relations at a time when East Asia countries are trying to establish their identities. To avoid "losing Asia", the U.S. should have long-term strategies to enhance its engagement in East Asia in both formal and informal ways.;Evolution of institutional economic cooperation in the Asia Pacific has always fallen short of the expectations. High rhetoric about grand plans for regional cooperation always had achieved modest results. The achievements of the current drive of the U.S. for regional free trade will be more cosmetic than real. Because of the vast diversity of the region, implementation of a comprehensive free trade agreement will involve very high transaction costs few Pacific countries are ready to bear.
Keywords/Search Tags:Pacific, Economic cooperation, Asia, Evolution, Free trade, Regional
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