Policy Memo Reg Int in East Asia. Raboana Harijaona .pdf


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Auteur: Harijaona Raboana

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REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN EAST ASIA
Group 2

RABOANA Harijaona,

State-sponsored regional projects or market forces have driven the process of regional
integration in East Asia. On 8 August 1967, the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore and Thailand signed the short, simply worded document and five articles
length known as the Bangkok Declaration. Giving birth to an association for regional cooperation
among the countries of Southeast Asia under the label of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN). The objectives are ambitious: cooperation in the economic, social, cultural,
technical, educational and other fields, plus cooperation to promote regional peace, stability,
justice and rule of law with regards to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
"The collective will (…) of peace, freedom and prosperity" soon reached and involved five more
countries: the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Union
of Myanmar, Brunei Darussalam and the Kingdom of Cambodia. Yet as an entity (4.5 million
km2, 615 million population and combined nominal GDP of US$ 2.3 trillion. 2012 IMF figures,
ASEAN would rank as the eighth largest economy in the world) how could ASEAN (1.75%
share of world GDP) possibly compete with NAFTA (33%) or the EU (27%)? To what extent a
group such as ASEAN+3 (Japan, China and South Korea) is part of the answer?
Regional integration is a global trend. Areas of the world are tying closely together. The concept
of integration could be defined as follows: a process in which units move from a condition of
total or partial isolation towards a complete or partial unification. Applied to the interaction
between independent sovereign states, integration refers to a process of large-scale territorial
differentiation characterised by the progressive lowering of internal boundaries and the possible
rising of new external boundaries. Although integration at the level of states can refer to many
different aspects of cooperation, it is mostly used in a context of economy and international trade.
Regarding that matter, the ASEAN Economic Community is already scheduled for 2015, the
Asian Development Bank “Strategy 2020” paper identified a total of nine challenges (among
which poverty, income gap between people and demographic challenges) and four pillars of the
Regional Cooperation and Integration (1.Regional and Sub-regional Economic Cooperation
Programs 2.Trade and Investment Cooperation and Integration 3.Monetary and Financial
Cooperation and Integration 4.Cooperation in Regional Public Goods). Moreover, though without
consideration of the recent establishment of the Chinese air defence zone over the disputed East
China Sea, China, South Korea and Japan have attended the latest ASEAN summits
(“ASEAN+3”, 20% share of world GDP) with great concerns showed for the Asian Free Trade
Area (agreements reached*) and the proposed basket of an Asian currency unit.
For further RCI in this region, the issues at stake are: the massive low cost labour force, rational
learning from Beijing’s policy-making (a more mechanist paradigm e.g. Special Economic Zones
- as opposed to US driven free market philosophy - seems to provide a more efficient outcome at
a macroeconomic level) and social learning from the history of EU institutions and integration.
The 1997 crisis boosted the process and the primary task now for countries in Asia's regional
cooperation is to integrate the obviously contradictory and competing Japanese/Korean/Chinese
regionalisms into a relatively single and shared regional union, and to
harmonise/strengthen/merge the Kulturkreis-based disparate associations (be it SAARC,
CAREC, GMS…).
* food and energy security, financial cooperation, trade facilitation, disaster management, people-to-people
contacts, labour movement, environment and sustainable development, transnational crime, etc. APT cooperation in
the area of political and security under discussion.

REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN EAST ASIA
Group 2

RABOANA Harijaona,

Bibliography:
1. asean.org. 2013. ASEAN Conception and Evolution by THANAT KHOMAN . [ONLINE]
Available at: http://www.asean.org/news/item/asean-conception-and-evolution-by-thanatkhoman. [Accessed 15 December 13].
2. Boussaguet Jacquot Ravinet, L S P, 2010. Dictionnaire des politiques publiques. 3rd ed.
Paris : Presses de Sciences Po.
3. Das Menon Severino Shrestha, S J R O, 2013. The ASEAN Economic Community: a work
in progress. 1st ed. Singapore: ISEAS.
4. De Lombaerde, P, (2005). IIIS Discussion Paper. In Indicators of Regional Integration:
Methodological Issues. UNU-CRIS, No.64 / March 2005. UNU-CRIS: UNU-CRIS. 35.
5. Trudy McIntosh, (2013), Even diagrams which are designed to simply the overlapping
institutional web are confusing in themselves! [ONLINE]. Available at:
http://internationalpoliticalforum.com/anyone-for-alphabet-soup-a-guide-to-asia-pacificregionalism/ [Accessed 15 December 13].

6. Wok, K, 2013. Tokyo to pledge US$20b to Southeast Asia to win friends at Asean
summit. South China Morning Post, [Online]. Saturday, 14 December, 2013, 1. Available
at: http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1380107/tokyo-pledge-us20b-southeast-asiawin-friends-asean-summit [Accessed 15 December 2013].
* food and energy security, financial cooperation, trade facilitation, disaster management, people-to-people
contacts, labour movement, environment and sustainable development, transnational crime, etc. APT cooperation in
the area of political and security under discussion.


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