Whither East Asian regionalism
The 1997 financial crisis dealt a severe blow to Asia's self-confidence. In the following article, Professor Ippei Yamazawa, of the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Waseda University and the Institute of Developing Economies, examines the effect of regionalism on East Asia before and after 1997. On the surface, regional trade arrangements (RTAs) would seem to repudiate the WTO's multilateral trade liberalization efforts but Yamazawa argues that if RTAs are pursued in parallel with multilateral trade talks then they would complement, rather than compete against, multilateral trade arrangements. He concludes that APEC could find itself a useful role as the intermediary between RTAs and the WTO.