People are aware of the fact that the world market is becoming a singe huge unity following world economic trends. Thus, several countries have lowered trade barriers on goods against other countries. At the same time, there is a big wave of regional economic integration of the world. Regional economic integration is established to gain economic benefits and political power among countries. EU and NAFTA are the leading economic integrations of the world. When a country is excluded from regional economic integrations, the country takes the trade diversion effect. How is the current Asian economic situation according to economic trends nowadays? Since The International Olympic Committee declared the Olympics in China this year, Asian countries social, economic, and cultural interests were noticed by the world. Especially, the drastic growth of China and other Southeast countries has caused an investment boom. Nonetheless, their enthusiasm for investment soon burned out and several Asian countries have fallen into an economic recession since then. To overcome the economic recession, a new regional economic integration of Korea, China and Japan, known as CJK, has been suggested. If CJK agrees on the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with each other, the total GNP of CJK forms 90% of the total Asian GNP, which would make a powerful economic influence beyond our imagination.
Although CJK does not have any economic organizations or associations yet, on the world is focusing on this integration with economic interest. Japan has been the leading economic power in Asia for a long time. Regarding Korea, its technology is becoming excellent. Furthermore, China is making a remarkable growth in industry from Korean and Japanese technological investments. China’s vast population and capital also take a big part in their growth. As a result, the disparity in the three countries economic power is narrowed. Like the economic success of EU and NAFTA, regional economic integration (FTA) of CJK will achieve as much as the EU or NAFTA. The major factor of their success is a geographical neighboring. A geographical neighboring can cut down on transportation costs and result in more profit. Regarding CJK, they are geographically adjacent to each other. In addition, they are involved in the Confucianism cultural area and their values are common. The common values can be helpful when solving problems and dealing with different opinions in the process of making an economic integration.
However, there are some tasks to be solved before developing an FTA between CJK. These are political and diplomatic complications. As CJK forms an alliance with each other in terms of economic values, political alliances are still a huge disparity between them. These are originally inherited from historical issues. Japan is troubled by Korea declaring sovereignty over the Dokto islets. China is conflicted with Korea, as China perverts the truth of history. Japan and China also are in discord with each other because of historical problems and territorial disputes.
In addition, the relationship of Korea and China is intricate, considering the other relationships of Korea and America and North Korea and China. Because of that, it is trouble for Korea and China to cooperate economically. Such political and diplomatic problems within the three countries make it hard to contract the FTA. However, CJK should realize the fact that the FTA will have a huge influence on their economic growth.
In the case of Europe, although there had been hurts because of World War I and II, European countries bathed their hurts and they made a huge economic integration for a brighter future. Furthermore, they even tried to make a political integration. Based on this, if CJK also operates like Europe and makes a community spirit, political problems will be easily solved.
An economic integration based on regionalism is the main economic trend of the world. Into this atmosphere, the need of making an economic cooperation is gathering strength. Although ASEAN, which Southeast countries made, was already established for economic growth, its power of influence is insignificant. Because many countries involved in ASEAN lack of capital and the level of technology, they have no propulsive force. Asian total GNP forms 21% of the world’s total GNP and CJK total GNP forms 90% of the Asian total GNP. However, ASEAN countries’ GNP forms only 2% of it. It shows that CJK plays important roles in Asia. If CJK makes an economic integration for the first time and supports ASEAN countries based on growth of CJK, it will be a huge cooperation compare to that of EU or NAFTA.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >