Over the past few decades globalization has brought tremendous benefits to the world, and an even greater reliance on others for products and services. This calls for closer international cooperation to ensure that regional integration is ever more inclusive and works for the benefit of all. There is little doubt that globalization can be a powerful engine for sustained economic growth. Regional economic integration is motivated by a desire to exploit the gains from free trade and investment. This paper will analyze the role of regional integration in promoting global business and compare and contrast economic development stages of the countries included under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Role of Regional Integration
Regional economic integration is fast becoming a major factor in promoting global business. "Regional economic integration refers to agreements between countries in a geographic region to reduce, and eventually remove, tariff and non-tariff barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and factors of production between each other" (Hill, 2004). It is a process by which countries remove the barriers to free trade and the free movement of people across national borders, with the goal of reducing the tensions that can lead to international conflict (Wikipedia.org, 2006). The World Trade Organization (WTO) reported that by early 2003, nearly all of their 145 members notified the organization of participation in one or more regional trade agreements. There are currently about 170 active agreements that have been reported to the WTO and the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). World Trade Organization
The WTO and GATT are responsible for moving the world closer to a free trade regime. This is a very difficult challenge because of the different political ideas associated with the many different nations. As a result, neighboring countries develop regional trade agreements to promote free trade across...
References: Hill, C. W. (2004). The global trade and investment environment. International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace (5th ed.). McGraw Hill. New York, NY.
Wikipedia.org (2006) Regional integration. Retrieved March 26, 2006 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_integration
Wikipedia.org (2006) North American Free Trade Agreement. Retrieved March 26, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAFTA
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