Opinions < 2004 < November


A Step Closer to Asian Mega-merger

Sudhir T Devare
The Strait Times
November 27, 2004

The meetings in Vientiane this week between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the economic powerhouses of North-east Asia, namely, Japan, China and South Korea, are expected to bring economic integration a step closer.

On the same occasion, the ASEAN and India summit, the third since the dialogue was elevated to the summit level, will review the economic gains the two sides have made and chart the path for future common endeavors.

These two parallel processes - ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+1 - signify one important fact: that economic integration in Asia is on a growth trajectory. There is rapidly increasing economic engagement, at both regional and bilateral levels.

Click here to read further: http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/

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China-ASEAN New Trade Agreements: A Major Step to Asian Integration

Xinhua Online
November 23, 2004 

Diplomats and scholars in Beijing hail the two agreements to be signed between China and the ASEAN during the upcoming meetings in Vientiane, capital of Laos, as a "major step" towards the Asian integration.

"The signing of the two agreements will be not only a breakthrough in the process of negotiation of China-ASEAN free trade area (FTA), but also enhance political trust between China and the ASEAN nations," said Dato'A. K. Majid, chairman of the ASEAN Committee of Beijing here Tuesday.

The agreements on goods trade and on establishing an arbitration mechanism will be submitted to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Click here to read further: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-11/23/content_2252802.htm



ASEAN Summit: Continuing the Dynamism

Ong Keng Yong
The Jakarta Post
Novenber 22, 2004

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will end the year 2004 on a high note. A record number of about 20 major agreements and declarations are expected to be signed or adopted either by the ASEAN member countries or between ASEAN and its partners in the Lao capital of Vientiane next week. This is the culmination of year-long consultations, negotiations and consensus-building that demonstrates ASEAN's continued dynamism and relevance.

Click here to read further: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaileditorial.asp?fileid=20041122.F01&irec=3



Northeast will be India's Gateway to the East: Indian PM

Malyala Manorma
November 21, 2004

.."Through these we have a vision for Assam as the gateway of India to the East. If the gateway of India in Mumbai symbolises the might of the colonial British empire, this gateway to the East represents a resurgent India, an economically strong India, an India which is integral to the Asian century," Singh said.

India and China, Manmohan Singh said, would dominate the global economy in the 21st century, which would belong to Asia."This century is going to be Asia's century and China and India are going to be major economies of this century and this is based on studies and forecasts," he said

Click here to read further: http://www.manoramaonline.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=





Regional Economic Integration in Asia

Nagesh Kumar
The Financial Express
November 11, 2004 

Any regional grouping in Asia combining economies as important as Japan, China, Korea with ASEAN has the potential of evolving into a trade bloc comparable to EU or NAFTA and emerge as the third pole of the world economy. Inability to be part of such a trading bloc can affect India’s economic and strategic interests adversely by diverting trade and investments away from it. Thanks to our highly successful ‘Look East’ policy, East Asia now accounts for more than a quarter of India’s trade as large as EU’s or North America’s. Therefore, it is of critical importance for India to be part of the plans of East Asian economic integration. For this, it is pertinent for India to join the Asean+3 and have it expanded to Asean+4.

Click here to read further: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=73871