About Michael G. PlummerMike Plummer is Director in the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe and Eni Professor of International Economics at Johns Hopkins University.
The time is ripe for enhancing economic integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia. The new “normal” era of slow growth in advanced industrial economies following the global financial crisis suggests that Asian economies will need to rely more on domestic and regional demand to secure inclusive growth. The recent slowdown in growth in the People’s Republic of China suggests further grounds for tapping growth opportunities between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
South Asian and Southeast Asian economies have all embraced an outward-oriented development strategy, albeit to different degrees. The result has been an impressive increase in international trade, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, and significant productivity improvements, which in turn have contributed to important socio-economic gains. Indeed, some of these economies have delivered among the most striking economic performances in the world.
By Michael G. Plummer. Posted December 10, 2013
While the WTO Ministerial meeting in Bali in December may deliver on individual initiatives related to such themes as agriculture, trade facilitation and development, a major breakthrough on the “single undertaking” is far from sight. At the same time, mega-regional agreements are fast emerging as a key feature of the global architecture. This “new regionalism” could pose risks, but successful mega-accords will create a strong incentive for a global accord; hence, the “new regionalism” will arguably be a powerful “building bloc” that will ultimately support multilateralism.
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