Discuss the reasons for, and consequences of social and economic groupings of nations.
In this current generation exists a range of major trade blocks, for example: ASEAN – consisting of countries such as Laos, Malaysia and Singapore. However one of the most well known Trade blocs in the world today is the EU, which currently links together 27 countries. The reason as to which countries want to form these alliances with other countries is as they want to stimulate their economic growth via various methods, such as: making trade between the countries easier, thus increasing profits, allowing the free movement of labour and capital, and sharing knowledge thus allowing all members of the group to develop.
There are different types of alliances that countries can form, the first of which is free trade areas. These are when countries remove all tariffs and quotas on trade between themselves, but keep the taxes for when countries outside of the trade bloc want to import into the group (e.g. NAFTA). The next type of alliance is common markets, which are like custom unions but also, allow the free movement of labour and capital – the EU once existed in this form. The final type are Economic unions in which members do all of the above but they also adopt common policies for the likes of agriculture, transport and pollution. The EU has currently adopted this format.
Economic groupings do have a variety of advantages and disadvantages linked to them. Many humanitarians are in favour of social and economic groupings, as they believe due to an increased amount of international understanding, there is a greater chance of peace. Also, as trade barriers are removed, the economy of a country is allowed to develop which ultimately will cause a spiral of growth therefore resulting in better living conditions. In my personal opinion, trade blocs are ideal for people who find it difficult to seek employment in their own country, as they have the legal right to travel...
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