Opinions < 2004 < October


China-ASEAN FTA to Help Bring About Asia's Economic Integration

Xinhua Online
October 30, 2004
Zhang Yongxing     

Singapore welcomes the establishment of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA), believing that it will help enhance economic cooperation and integration between ASEAN and China as well as Asia's economic integration, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang told Xinhua lately in an exclusive interview.

    "The next big story for the world in the coming 10 years will really be the economic integration of Asia, and China-ASEAN Free Trade Area is a very important vehicle to bring about this economic integration," Lim said, adding that such economic integration means "something very special" to Singapore because it will give Singapore a big economic base to grow.

Click here to read further: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-10/30/content_2157088.htm



Speeding up East Asian integration

Zhao Huaipu
China Daily
October 22, 2004

As regional integration remains one of today's world's trends, booming East Asian co-operation is becoming a precursor of Asian integration. How to push forward steady and continuous co-operation among East Asian countries, which are still divided on numerous concrete issues, must be resolved by regional members with time and experience.

The success of European countries, who once differed from each other on many issues, in advancing and realizing an integration on their continent, can lend this kind of experience for East Asian countries.

Click here to read further: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-10/22/content_384778.htm



First Things First

Business Standard, India
October 21, 2004

The AEC will comprise ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea and India. As the Prime Minister pointed out, it will be a truly formidable grouping, which will be able to more than hold its own in trade and other negotiations with the West. Given that global integration is rapidly being preceded by regional integration, it makes sense to think big and aim for such a major grouping.

Anything smaller really doesn’t make much sense, either economic or political, when weighed against the cost, time, and effort that would be required to put it together. 

Click here to read further : http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage.php?hpFlag=




Toward Political and Cultural cooperation

Edgardo B Espiritu
The Manila Times
October 7, 2004

Economics constitutes the imperative of short and medium-term relations and even drives the pace of structural reform in certain countries, which is why China’s membership in the WTO is so encouraging, and ASEAN enlargement and integration is such an exciting process, protecting our common longer-term interests requires us to consider our political and cultural identities and ties. 

Click here to read further: http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/oct/08/yehey/opinion/20041008opi6.html



ASEAN: Also A Model of Integration

Edgardo B Espiritu
The Manila Times
October 7, 2004

It is that in the midst of all this diversity, there are now intensified efforts to achieve greater economic integration within Asia and Asean provides a veritable platform for such integration.

The Asean leaders were explicit in recognizing that economic integration is not an end in itself but, more important, a tool for enhancing competitiveness, which is an economic imperative for sustained economic growth and catalyst for reducing poverty and realizing equitable and inclusive development within and across the Asean member countries. This is yet another unique characteristic of the Asean economic integration model.

Even now, there are ongoing discussions for Asean FTAs with China, India and Japan. A successful negotiation round and implementation of an Asean-China FTA alone will create a combined market of 1.7 billion people, a GDP of $2 trillion and a total trade of $1.23 trillion. 

Click here to read further: http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/oct/07/yehey/opinion/20041007opi4.html



The Asian Perspective of Inter-regional Cooperation

Edgardo B Espiritu
The Manila Times
October 6, 2004

If not a single image, the term “Asia” tends to be represented by its most dominant economic and cultural icons—Japan, China and India. The latter two have particularly been gaining great influence in the world economy, with their phenomenal growth performance and potential.

Indeed, this is the one face of Asia now. But my main message to you today is that Asia has many faces. Asia embodies an interesting mix of ancient culture and progressive outlook. There exist complementary diversities in the member countries’ political past, forms and styles of government, cultures, spiritual beliefs and stages of economic development. Some have colonial linkages with certain European countries.

Click here to read further: http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/oct/06/yehey/opinion/20041006opi2.html