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Regional integration - Essay Example

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Regional integration is a confidence building process among countries that paves the way for free trade as also the unrestricted movement of people and goods through international borders. Thus, regional integration helps in defusing tensions along border and brings people closer to one another…
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Regional integration
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Download file to see previous pages The unique example that will be under discussion as far as this paper is concerned would be the south east asian region that is one of the fastest growing economies of the world along side the mighty economies of the united states and the european union (UNESCAP, 2005, pp.145).
The South east Asian region comes directly under the ASEAN which stands for the Association of the South East Asian Nations. The formation of the alliances has made it possible to forge strong aliances with one another and has encouraged enhanced volumes of foreign direct investments. The region is today a preferred economic and technological investment hub and preference is mad on the basis of highly skilled human resuorces of the region, which has been possible through sustainable development initiatives of these organizations. The ASEAN has ensured that the financial and judicial backbone of the countries is strengthened, which has ensured an enhanced security to people as well as the industry. Rapid economic development of the region has led to a phenomenal rise in the standard of living of the people and creation of economic hubs such as singapore and hong kong (UNESCAP, 2005 pp.145).
But, any such development has a dark side as well. The rising incomes have contributed to the widening of the gap between sections of the society. There has also not been a uniform development between countries and all this has resulted in a greater difference between the economies of any two countries. This is evident in the growth rates of China and hong kong when compared with that of singapore or malaysia wherein the former's growth is presently the highest in the world. But, the implementation of the ideas of regional integration have not been implemented to the optimum levels, with economies such as indonesia and burma (present day myanmar) left behind in the race towards economic development. The mistakes lies both within the framework of these regional organizations as well as due to a lack of initiative on the part of the respective governments of these countries (UNESCAP, 2005 pp.145-146).
The seven major companies within the ASEAN have an estimated holding reserves of around $100 billion, which is now many times than that of the acia-pacific region put together. The South east asian region has an annual growth of aroung 5.1% since the last 5 years. But, the most striking factor since the last 5 years has been the emergence of new countries such as China & India into the economic fora, so much so that today they are a force to reckon with. As has been previously mentioned, China has en estimated annual growth rate of aroung 8.5 %, which is the highest in the world today. Following in its footsteps is the economy of India, which has the second highest growth rate of 5.1%. Both play a major role in maintianing the economic stability of the region and are active participants in the annual ASEAN summits (UNESCAP, 2005 pp.145-146).
For developed countries in the region such as singapore, malaysia and the island city of hong kong as also korea and taiwan, the real challenge as of now, is to sustain their economic growth and maintain their prosperity in the eventuality of stiff competition from India & China, which are the most preferred destinations for FDI (UNEASCAP, 2005). The situation with the underdeveloped economies of the region is that they continue to remain underdogs and are in no ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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