In Search of Optimised Regional Trade Agreements and Applications to East Asia
24 Pages Posted: 2 May 2007
We quantitatively analyse the trade effects of enhanced trade facilitation with extended gravity equations. Our findings confirm that RTAs comprised of countries equipped with better trade facilitation are more likely to be trade-creating, less likely to be trade-diverting, and are thus more likely to lead the world economy toward global free trade. We also find that (i) the traditional gains from shallow integration through eliminating tariff barriers will be greater for South-South RTAs in East Asia such as an ASEAN-China RTA, provided that the tariff-reducing schedule is strictly fulfilled, (ii) the gains from deeper integration through enhancing trade facilitation will be greater for North-North RTAs in East Asia such as a Japan-Korea RTA, and (iii) the gains from a combined trade liberalisation strategy through tariff reductions and enhanced trade facilitation will be greater for North-South RTAs in East Asia such as a China-Korea and an ASEAN+3 RTA.
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