Regionalism in East Asia: the ASEAN +1 initiatives

Elizabeth S. Tan


Free trade agreements (FTAs) have been proliferating in Asia since the late '90s and show no sign of abating. The ASEAN +3 model should ideally serve as the starting point because of existing linkages in the real and monetary sectors. Nevertheless, what have emerged are six ASEAN +1 initiatives. Each of these initiatives covers similar areas of liberalization but progresses at different paces. The +6 countries have independently concluded FTAs with Singapore, which have built on their WTO commitments and moved on to difficult areas of liberalization. From 2004 onward, the +6 countries have started concluding bilateral FTA with each other and with the United States and the European Union.


JEL classification: F15


Regionalism; East; Asia; ASEAN; +1; initiatives

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