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The Asian Economic Integration Cooperation Agreement: Lessons for Economic and Social Development

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This paper examines the impact of regional integration on development in the ASEAN economic community. The study presents a measure of bilateral trade balances showing that despite rapid trade expansion, imports have grown faster than exports resulting in a deterioration of the trade balances in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam - the less developed members of the agreement. The analysis also throws light on ASEAN's emphasis on promoting equitable economic development between its members. The study argues that trade agreements should seek to promote coherence between country-level and regional strategies to achieve the complex and multifaceted development objectives beyond trade integration.


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