Doctor of Philosophy
Department of History and Politics - Faculty of Arts
Elisabeth, Adriana, The role of the Philippines in the BIMP-EAGA growth triangle and the dynamics of ASEAN political economy, PhD thesis, Department of History and Politics, University of Wollongong, 2008. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/52
The title of the dissertation is The Role of the Philippines in Growth Triangle and the Dynamics of ASEAN Political Economy. It looks into the role of the Philippines in establishing the first growth quadrangle in South East Asia or the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines - East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA or simply EAGA). There was no EAGA without Philippine enthusiastic in proposing the idea. EAGA became the first sub-regional economic cooperation to back up Philippine national development program; that is the Philippines 2000 and the NIC-hood vision. The establishment of EAGA represented Philippine foreign relations with regional countries, and the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) as the longest running regional association.
The relevance of EAGA was in controversy. The affirmative perspective ensured that EAGA was built in economic term to promote trade, investment and tourism for the regional countries, which experienced similar historical of colonialism, and cultural and religious backgrounds. Some achievements have been made through many numbers of working groups’ meetings, expositions and conferences since the EAGA formation in 1994 until now.
On the other hand, the pessimistic perspective highlighted the negative impacts of the EAGA growth quadrangle. The failure of poverty eradication was one of the social impacts. EAGA seems to be more hopeless when indicated to problems, which exist at the national, regional and global levels and related each other. Crony capitalism, inter-religious conflicts and process of democracy are major domestic issues that have affected the EAGA business activities, besides the Asian Crisis in 1997. The practice of crony capitalism is related to domestic political culture and the influence of market orientation or economic liberalism. Global war against terrorism is another international factor, which affected regional political development.
The future of EAGA is clearly dependent on to what extents member countries can cope with their domestic problems. Similar phenomenon happened with ASEAN in which its function as regional economic integration has been subordinated by the dominance of political disputes bilaterally and multilaterally.
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