Regional Economic Integration in ASEAN: How far will it go?
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The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is among several regional blocs that have received praise from economists for making significant progress towards developing intra- and extra-regional economic relationships. However, opinions differ over the extent of ASEAN’s potential for integration. This paper reviews the performance of and prospects for the group’s intra- and extra-regional integration. It also reviews the performance of individual members in order to assess whether ASEAN integration could potentially lead to a monetary union in the future. We provide an overview of trade performance and a comparison of three macroeconomic variables: inflation; interest; and exchange rates. We observe that ASEAN members are in a favourable position to form a strong economic zone in the near future, but adopting a common monetary policy is less plausible.
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