sub regional economic cooperation implications for central asia and south caucasus l.
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Sub-regional Economic Cooperation : Implications for Central Asia and South Caucasus. Mya Than. Regionalism: Conditions. Countries must have 1. Geographical proximity 2. Cooperation of countries either in economic, political or social fields

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regionalism conditions
Regionalism: Conditions
  • Countries must have

1. Geographical proximity

2. Cooperation of countries either in economic, political or social fields

3. Setting up a regional cooperation for the achievement of common purposes

regional economic cooperation integration
Regional Economic Cooperation & Integration
  • Members: Transnational economic region (or sub-region) established by 2 or more countries or territories

2. Objective: To promote free movement of factors of production & effective distribution of outputs

3. Mechanism: To gain from economy of scale

economic cooperation and integration
Economic Cooperation and Integration

6 stages from Economic Cooperation to Economic Integration

  • Harmonization: to adjust trade policies to minimize discrimination
  • Free Trade Area (FTA): to remove tariffs between the partners without adopting a common tariff policy
  • Customs Union (CU): FTA adopting a common tariff policy against third countries
  • Common Market (CM): CU removing restrictions on factor movement
  • Economic Union (EU): CM coordinating their policies on fiscal, monetary, etc.
  • Economic Integration: Extreme type of Economic Cooperation when policy matters and their implementation is governed by some supra-national agency
forms of regional economic cooperation integration
Forms of Regional Economic Cooperation/Integration

Forms Free intra- Common Free factor Common trade trade policy mobility monetary &

fiscal policy

FTA Yes No No No

Customs Union Yes Yes No No

Common Market Yes Yes Yes No

Economic Union Yes Yes Yes Yes

free trade area fta
Free Trade Area (FTA)

Definition: Economic cooperation between two or more countries within the region or outside the region by removing tariffs between partners without adopting a common tariff policy.

Objectives of FTAs

  • Greater market access in goods and services
  • Increased investment opportunities
  • Reduction in Business costs
formation of ftas in southeast asia
Formation of FTAs in Southeast Asia

World Total 250 (2002)

300 (2005) estimates

East Asia Total 72 (2003)

Signed 20

Under negotiation 20

Under study 19

Proposed 13

Southeast Asia 51

Signed 14

Under negotiation 23

Under study 12

Proposed 2

building blocks for ftas
Building Blocks for FTAs

Push factors

  • Competition for export markets in the face of increasing FTAs in other regions
  • Rising of China
  • The end of the Cold War/Thawing of political tension
  • Obstacles in trade liberalization under GATT/WTO (eg., Doha Round)

Pull factors

  • Transformation of former command/controlled economies into market-oriented economies
  • Increase or maintain market access
  • Promotion of economic or other types of cooperation
conditions for enjoying benefits
Conditions for enjoying benefits
  • Trade liberalization
  • Trade and Investment facilitation
  • Economic cooperation
  • Harmonization
impacts of east asian ftas
Impacts of East Asian FTAs

Positive impacts

  • Trade creation effect
  • Improved terms of trade
  • Increase in economic welfare
  • Trade diversion effect will be reduced
  • Increased business access to members’ markets
  • Economy of scales
  • Competition enhancing effect
  • FDI creation effect (among member countries)
  • Promotion of regionalization

Negative Impacts

  • Extra-ASEAN trade expands faster than intra-ASEAN trade
interdependence intra regional trade
Interdependence: Intra-Regional Trade (%)*

1990 1995 2000 2003

ASEAN 18.0 21.0 22.8 22.3

ASEAN+3 28.6 37.1 37.3 38.9

NAFTA 37.3 42.0 46.9 44.9

EU (25) 65.2 65.2 64.6 66.1

Mercosur - - 17 -

* Total trade as % of their total world trade

stumbling blocks for ftas in east asia
Stumbling Blocks for FTAs in East Asia


  • Different political systems
  • Lack of strong political will
  • Territorial disputes
  • Nuclear issue (PR Korea)


  • Historical baggage
  • Visits to a War Shrine
stumbling blocks for ftas in east asia cont d
Stumbling Blocks for FTAs in East Asia (Cont’d)


  • Different economic systems
  • Different development levels
  • Different legal systems
  • Likely opposition from non-competitive sectors
  • Two-speed ASEAN in terms of trade liberalization


  • Spagetti Bowl effect
sub regional economic cooperation in southeast asia
Sub-regional Economic Cooperation in Southeast Asia

I. Economic Geography

1. Growth Triangle

(a) IMS-GT (Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore)

(b) IMT-GT (Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand)

2. Growth Quadrangle

(a) Golden Quadrangle (Yunnan-Laos-Myanmar-Thailand)

(b) BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines)

Or (East ASEAN Growth Area)

sub regional economic cooperation in southeast asia cont d
Sub-regional Economic Cooperation in Southeast Asia (Cont’d)

II. River-based Cooperation

1. GMS (Greater Mekong Sub-regional Eco. Cooperation)

(Cambodia, Laos-Myanmar-Thailand-Yunnan-Vietnam)

2. ACMECS (Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Thailand-Vietnam) Or (Ayeyawady-Chao Phra-Mekong Eco. Cooperation Strategy)

3. MG-EC (Mekong Ganga Eco. Cooperation)

(Mekong Countries and India)

sub regional economic cooperation in southeast asia cont d17
Sub-regional Economic Cooperation in Southeast Asia (Cont’d)

III. Cross-subregional Cooperation

1. BIMST-EC (Bay of Bengal Multi-Sectoral Technological Eco. Cooperation) (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Myanmar-Nepal-Sri lanka-Thailand)

growth triangle

Concept: To link three areas with different factor endowments and different comparative advantages for a larger region with greater potential for economic growth.

Definition: A sub-regional economic zone encompassing geographically contigous areas of two or more countries in the economic integration process which involves the flow of goods, services, investment and people. GTs also could be considered as “cross-border economic zones”.

Rationale: To exploit the complementarities of the geographically contiguous areas to achieve accelerated economic development by means of enhancing competitiveness of participating areas and of promoting their exports in the global marketplace

types of growth triangles
Types of Growth Triangles

1. Metropolitan Spillover into Hinterland


2. Joint Development of Natural Resources


3. Common Geo-political Interest

(ASEAN before 1997)

motivating factors
  • Geographical Proximities/Existence of old trade routes
  • Historical Links
  • Cultural Proximities and Ethnic Ties
  • Economic Complementarities
  • Thawing of Political Tensions
  • Economic Reforms in Formerly Command/Controlled Economies
  • Rising of China and India/Competition for Foreign Investment
  • Emergence of Regional and Sub-regional Groupings and Trade Blocs
  • Fear of Protectionism
challenges and issues
Challenges and Issues


  • Different political systems
  • Lack of political will
  • Territorial disputes


  • Historical baggage


  • Common ethnicity
  • Common/similar culture
challenges and issues23
Challenges and Issues


  • Different economic systems
  • Different levels of development
  • Different financial and banking systems and legal systems
  • Likely opposition from non-competitive sectors


  • Degradation of environment

Cross-border Issues

  • Illegal trade
  • Human trafficking
  • Drug trafficking
  • Spread of HIV/AIDS
key factors behind the success of growth triangles
Key Factors behind the Success of Growth Triangles
  • Economic Complementarity
  • Geographical proximity
  • Political Commitment and Policy Coordination
  • Infrastructure Development
gts complement the ftas
GTs Complement the FTAs
  • GT as a form of regional cooperation provides competitive model to attract investment and technology as well as building block towards FTA.
  • GT as a starter, with relatively less rigid and formal cooperation structure as compared to FTA, is expected to be more innovative, flexible, and most importantly always ready to attend to the ever-changing needs of investors and alike.
  • GT as a strategy promoted by those regional leaders keen on expanding “embedded exportism” and by global enterprises involved in international production see it as having a “facilitating effect” upon “open regionalism” championed in the Bogor declaration.
  • GT has become a building block towards free trade arrangements since the changes that are manifested in the growth triangle strategy provide supports for ASEAN’s FTAs and APEC’s free trade plans.
indonesia malaysia thailand growth triangle imt gt
Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT)

What Is IMT-GT

  • Early attempt at economic cooperation and integration in ASEAN.
  • Formally endorsed by all 3 governments’ heads of IMT-GT nations in 1993.
  • Expected to boost economic, social and cultural ties between their areas.
  • The private sector is expected to drive the economic agenda & the development of the IMT-GT by supporting and facilitating its activities.
  • IMT-GT Joint Business Council (JBC) was inaugurated in 1995 as the official vehicle to mobilize private sector participation.
  • ADB took initiatives to conduct a detailed feasibility study and formulated the framework for cooperation.
goals of imt gt
Goals of IMT-GT:
  • Overall goal of the IMT-GT is to accelerate private sector-led economic growth in the IMT-GT region by:
  • increasing trade and investment by exploitation the underlying economic complementarities and comparative advantages;
  • increasing exports to the rest of the world by enhancing competitiveness for exports and investment;
  • increasing the welfare of the people by creating employment, educational, social, and cultural opportunities in the IMT-GT region; and
  • Encouraging the private sector to play a leading role, while the public sector facilities and supports as much as possible.
imt gt members
IMT-GT: Members


  • 1994: North Sumatera and Aceh
  • 2005: Aceh, Sumatera Utara, Sumatra Barat, Bangka Belitung, Riau,Kepulauan Raiu, Lampung, Sumatera Selatan, Kepulauan Natuna
  • (The entire island of Sumatra is included in the IMT-GT)


  • 1994: Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Selangor
  • 2005: Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Selangor Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Selangor Melaka, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu,
  • (Kuala Lumpur can also be considered as an IMT-GT market due to its location and proximity to Selangor)


  • 1994: Yala, Satun, Narathiwat, Songhla, Pattani
  • 2005: Yala, Satun, Narathiwat, Songhla, Pattani, Trang, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Pattulung
  • Potential Consumer Base: 100 million
the public sectors of the imt gt
The Public Sectors of the IMT-GT

Coordinating secretariat in each of the IMT-GT countries;

Coordinating the activities, plans & progress of their respective ministries and government agencies involved in one way another with the IMT-GT;

Holding the annual Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and Ministerial Meeting (MM) to take stock of the problems & progress faced by the IMT-GT; and others.

the role of the private sector jbc
The Role of the Private Sector (JBC)
  • The Joint Business Council (JBC) is the official representative body for the IMT-GT business community;
  • Created in 1995 with mandate from the IMT-GT governments;
  • Meeting three or four time a year on rotation basis;
  • Annual JBC meeting in conjunction with the annual IMT-GT meeting with Senior Officers Meeting (SOM) and Ministerial Meeting (MM);
  • Instrumental in guiding government policy in IMT-GT countries in regard to IMT-GT, especially in the areas of trade and investment, people mobility, education & training, tourism, cultural & sports linkages, agriculture and fisheries;
the role of the private sector jbc cont d
The Role of the Private Sector (JBC)(cont’d)
  • Facilitated an estimated US$3.8 billion worth of projects between 1995-2005;
  • Mobilize private sector involvement in exploring the many opportunities;
  • Coordinate with the IMT-GT governments on the issues of mutual concerns;
  • Acting as a channel for business information and exchange of business opportunities;
  • Promote IMT-GT as an attractive investment destination for foreign investors; among others.
jbc s achievements
JBC’s Achievements
  • Enabling several thousands Indonesians & Thai students to undergo training in Malaysia;
  • Boosting the number of operators and frequency of marine & flight linkages within the IMT-GT;
  • Enabling the “fiscal tax” on Indonesian citizens departing the country to be waived for those departing from any IMT-GT airports;
  • Getting involved in reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in tsunami-affective areas;
  • Boosting trade, investment & tourism; among others.