Economic integration processes in East Asia - results, opportunities and challenges

Dejana Gajinov


The East Asian region is a major global economic player, given its economic size and potential. As such, regional economic integration of East Asia could be considered as an important building bloc towards integration of the Asia Pacific region. East Asia has made significant progress in creating institutions for closer cooperation and integration. East Asian regional production networks are the most integrated in the world, and regional financial initiatives have taken off. Gripped by this wave of regionalism, the East Asian economies have expedited further liberalization process and have started unmarked trade liberalization strategies, enhanced economic cooperation, and negotiating on currency union. Since 1997, East Asian regionalism seems to have progressed and an East Asian Community is just around the corner. This paper is a study which presents the realities that East Asian regionalism is still lap-sided: economic regionalism is highly developed, while other key components (regional financial integration, education collaboration, and a regional political framework) are developing at a slower rate, stagnating, and/or regressing. It aims to present the reality of East Asian regionalism, provoke awareness of false perspectives, and present a recommendation towards a balanced and more sustainable East Asian integration.

Keywords: East Asia, Asia-Pacific, regionalism, regional integration, regionalization

© 2024 Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, Serbia.

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