Publication Date

January 2002

Publication Details

Harvie, C and Lee, HH, New Regionalism in East Asia: How Does It Relate to the East Asian Economic Development Model?, Working Paper 02-10, Department of Economics, University of Wollongong, 2002.


In recent years a new regionalism has begun to emerge in East Asia that represents a clear break from the region’s strong history of multilateralism. The countries of East Asia have been giving more attention to ways of expanding intra regional trade that include: the establishment of regional trade agreements (RTAs) such as ASEAN+3; plans to establish a free trade area involving the economies of ASEAN and China; as well as moves towards bilateral trade agreements (BTAs). Such a development is important given that an export led growth and development strategy provided the platform for the region’s remarkable, and prolonged, period of high and sustained economic growth dating back to the 1960s, and that lies at the core of the East Asian Development Model (EADM). Export growth will remain a key ingredient for the recovery of the region after the financial and economic crisis of 1997-98. The trend towards this new regionalism, the reasons for it, its impact upon the region, its future evolution and prospects are, therefore, of profound regional, and indeed global, significance This paper focuses upon the meaning and implications of this new regionalism for the “old” EADM, and explores the key ingredients of an emerging “new” EADM growth and development paradigm, incorporating the new regionalism, that appears to be emerging in the wake of the 1997-98 crisis. In doing so the paper proceeds as follows. Section 2 summarises recent developments in regional trade agreements in East Asia, and discusses the factors behind this new tide of regionalism. Section 3 discusses the implications of the new regionalism in the context of the EADM past and present. Section 4 presents some concluding remarks.