Covering major Asian economic blocs and dialogues, this study comprehensively reviews the progress of “Asian” economic integration. The empirical results show that comprehensive, continent-wide economic integration in Asia is unlikely to happen soon since integration has been mainly confined to East and Southeast Asia, while other regions are much less integrated and globalised. However, the achievement of gradual integration would mutually benefit all members through capacity building, technological development, labour supply enlargement, and market expansion. With the forthcoming success of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ single market and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, this study also argues that the attributes proposed in the previous literature, e.g. historical reconciliation, common institution, and economic, politic, and social heterogeneity are irrelevant in the context of Asian economic integration. Instead, the scope, depth, and sequencing of the integration process, coupled with supporting geopolitical factors, largely explain the success of the Asia model.
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