Asan Plenum

Session: Session 1 / Grand Ballroom III
Date/Time: April 30, 2013 / 12:30-13:45

Panel Description

The idea of economic cooperation and integration in East Asia is not new. Yet, despite the region’s extensive bilateral free trade agreements, an all-encompassing regional framework remains a distant prospect. Some argue that deep integration is impeded by economic disparities among countries in the region. Furthermore, historical and territorial disputes coupled with cultural differences are seen as limiting the viability of deeper integration. However, the United States-supported Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Chinese-supported Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) provide competing movements toward deeper integration. If the issue of regional economic integration becomes enmeshed in a broader Sino-American competition, a future East Asian Economic Union may be increasingly unlikely.

Guiding Questions

  1. How can Asian states and citizens expect to benefit from regional economic integration? Is it really desirable for the region?
  2. Are the competing ideas of region-wide and sub-regional economic integration in East Asia working together for economic integration or are they at cross purposes?
  3. What are the future prospects for different frameworks such as the EAFTA, CEPEA, TPP, RCEP, ASEAN integration and Trilateral FTA of Northeast Asia?