This book analyzes the nature of Asia's merging regionalism, providing a basis for understanding its dimensions and further discussion on ways to move forward. The dynamic and outward-looking style of Asian regionalism can have a significant impact in an increasingly globalized world. Regionalism can be a stabilizing factor when shocks arise, whether region-based or externally-imposed. Reflecting the diversity of economies and their histories, regional integration follows markedly different patterns across the world. Europe has a long history of regional integration, underpinned by a strong institutional framework. North America has chosen a free trade area arrangement that does not foresee the creation of supranational institutions. In Latin America, the initial objectives of a common market and coordinated economic policies of Mercado Commum de Sur (MERCOSUR) have suffered setbacks caused by financial turbulence in the region in the late 1990s. In Asia, trade integration has progressed at a rapid pace based on the exploitation of intra-regional comparative advantages.
The book examines all these global economic and monetary integration processes focusing on Asian monetary and financial integration. What is the status of integration in Asia in monetary, financial, trade and production networks? These aspects have been discussed and compared with successful European economic and monetary integration. To give a more extensive view to the readers separate chapters have been included on North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), MERCOSUR and African Economic and Monetary Integration. The work is useful for students, researchers, policy makers and all others who want to understand and assess the status, processes and challenges of economic and monetary integration.