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Importance of Regional Integration for Economic Development; Comparative Study of ASEAN and SAARC

Author:

K.M. Hashan Viraj Wijesinghe

University of Colombo, LK
About K.M. Hashan Viraj
Postgraduate Student, Department of International Relations, Faculty of Arts
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Abstract

Today we are living in such a highly complicated and interdependent world where no country can remain isolated. Since the end of the Second World War, regional cooperation and integration has become a common phenomenon across the world. SAARC and ASEAN have been two such regional groupings which have been created with the prime objective of attaining greater economic cooperation and integration. However, in terms of achievements, SAARC and ASEAN remain at completely two different levels. On one hand there is Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has made great strides in terms of regional cooperation while there is also South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), whose own future is at doubt. Against this backdrop, the study looks into how well ASEAN has able to perform in terms of regional cooperation and integration, while it also looks into where SAARC has underperformed with special focus on economic cooperation. The main objective of this study is to understand the importance of economic cooperation and integration for economic development. A comparison would make it possible to better understand the dos and don’ts of becoming successful in regional economic integration. This is a desk research based on secondary data. As this study is based on economic aspect of regional integration, it shall take in to consideration aspects like trade volumes, investments and tourist arrivals etc. the study has underscored the importance of enhancing intra-regional trade, investments and tourism and the role of the leader within a regional entity as the main pillars of intra-regional economic success, while it also calls for the opportunities of initiating inter regional cooperation.

How to Cite: Wijesinghe, K. M. H. V. (2018). Importance of Regional Integration for Economic Development; Comparative Study of ASEAN and SAARC. Colombo Journal of Multi-disciplinary Research, 3(2), 113–134. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjmr.v3i2.34
Published on 01 Nov 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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