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Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific

Issues and Prospects

Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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As we move further into the 21st Century, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to play an increasingly crucial role in the evolution of the world’s economy and polity. Closer co-operation among countries in the region would greatly strengthen that role. Indeed, economic integration and political co-operation have long been on the agenda of Asia-Pacific policy makers. Few doubt that it will eventually happen, but so far the process has been much slower than in Europe and North America. Moreover, the question has become even more urgent in recent years with the emergence of a number of longer-term economic and social challenges within the region regarding trade, energy, transport, migration, health, education and the environment.

Where does the region stand in relation to progress on economic and political integration expected elsewhere in the world? What is the state of play in regional co-operation on trade and investment, and what is the unfinished agenda on international air transport? What international arrangements need to be put in place to promote education, health and more effective international collaboration on the environment? And where will security concerns fit into the picture as risks in the region continue to grow?

These and other issues call for improved institutional mechanisms for international dialogue and policy improvements in the region. In intensifying regional co-operation, it is important to bear in mind broader, global considerations so as to ensure that regional solutions do not undermine multilateral efforts in those same fields.

This report, published by the OECD's International Futures Programme in co-operation with The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, Australia, aims to stimulate informed debate about the main integration issues facing the Asia-Pacific region in the decades ahead. 

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; January 2005
293 pages; ISBN 9789264009172
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Title: Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific
Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development