What Is Regional Economic Integration

Topics: International trade, Free trade, Trade bloc Pages: 2 (645 words) Published: March 30, 2015
What Is Regional Economic Integration?
Regional economic integration has enabled countries to focus on issues that are relevant to their stage of development as well as encourage trade between neighbors. There are four main types of regional economic integration.

1. Free trade area. This is the most basic form of economic cooperation. Member countries remove all barriers to trade between themselves but are free to independently determine trade policies with nonmember nations. An example is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 2. Customs union. This type provides for economic cooperation as in a free-trade zone. Barriers to trade are removed between member countries. The primary difference from the free trade area is that members agree to treat trade with nonmember countries in a similar manner. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) [1] is an example. 3. Common market. This type allows for the creation of economically integrated markets between member countries. Trade barriers are removed, as are any restrictions on the movement of labor and capital between member countries. Like customs unions, there is a common trade policy for trade with nonmember nations. The primary advantage to workers is that they no longer need a visa or work permit to work in another member country of a common market. An example is the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). [2] 4. Economic union. This type is created when countries enter into an economic agreement to remove barriers to trade and adopt common economic policies. An example is the European Union (EU). [3] In the past decade, there has been an increase in these trading blocs with more than one hundred agreements in place and more in discussion. A trade bloc is basically a free-trade zone, or near-free-trade zone, formed by one or more tax, tariff, and trade agreements between two or more countries. Some trading blocs have resulted in agreements that have been more substantive than others in...
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