UCLA International Institute
Asia Pacific Center

Advancing collaborative, interdisciplinary research on Asia worldwide

Assessing economic integration in a comparative perspective: Korea in Northeast Asia and Mexico in North America

Gerardo D. Ramirez Cruz, Universidad AutonĂ³ma de Nayarit

Regional economic integration has emerged as a strategy for many countries to cope with international competition in a global economy, as a way of generating social benefits and economic development. This is the case of Mexico in North America and South Korea in Northeast Asia, both countries involved in partial integration processes; the Mexican case with investment and trade promotion (NAFTA) and Korea’s with a good neighbor policy of economic cooperation. Within this framework, this research compares and contrasts two cases of partial integration processes. First, it reviews the historical background of these two regions. Secondly, it produces economic indicators to establish comparative patterns that will facilitate the assessment of Mexico and Korea economic performance in their integrated areas. Finally, it argues that, other things being equal, Mexico and Korea have not developed economic agreements as a precondition to deepen regional integration, however, agreements of that kind might guarantee the framework for the neighboring countries to behave, and interact between them, based on formal compromise; at least, this is true for Mexico.

Download file:SRG-RamirezCruz.pdf