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Contact us. Share feedback. Endowed with relatively abundant unskilled labor force, agriculture provides an initial comparative advantage in trade. It earns foreign exchange and adds domestic savings.

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By ensuring the supply of essential food, agriculture helps feed often very large populations and ensure employment. In addition, agriculture creates a market for manufactured goods and services. Table 3 displays the agricultural share of GDP in a percentage term. The speed of agricultural reductions is compatible with the world average. The decline in the agricultural share can be generally attributed to the continued migration of rural workers to the urban industries with higher skills requirement.

Seeking better wages or improved living environments, released workers from the agricultural sector contribute to employment in non-farm industries. Table 4 summarizes the change of agricultural shares in total employment. The fact that agricultural employment is 2. However, despite the lack of data, the agricultural sectors in Laos and Myanmar are likely to amount to greater shares in total employment. Such high ratios of agricultural employment in CLMV elucidate the vital importance of the industry to their economies and shed light on why agriculture should have priority over other industries in the process of their economic development.

Bibliographic Information

Placing economic or policy emphasis on the agricultural sector is not limited to only CLMV which have recently accepted a market economic system. Given the large agricultural contribution to the national employment, a boost to the agricultural economy is also needed to achieve extensive economic growth even in other ASEAN countries. A gradual decline in its importance in terms of contribution to GDP and employment does not prove lagging or that of a wretched state agriculture. Agriculture is still the backbone of the ASEAN economy supporting a large population and sustaining rural viability.

In this regard, agricultural integration of ASEAN into the world economy is fast becoming a necessity. In order to reap dividends from the wide opened economy and avoid falling behind, ASEAN has no choice but to explore their comparative advantage to agriculture in the fullest extent.

The Prospects for Regional Economic Integration and Regional Cooperation in Central Asia

ASEAN has significantly increased its agricultural export since This may suggest that agriculture plays an important part in the ASEAN economies and the Green Revolution has allowed these countries to raise agricultural productivity. It is evident that agricultural commodity price spikes since the late s have accelerated export growth. The lack of data prevents comparable figures for the same period for the CLMV economies. Nevertheless, one can observe substantial progress in their agricultural exports during recent years.

In addition, Vietnam is the only country in the transition economy which has reached the magnitude of the average agricultural exports in ASEAN. Similar to the case of agricultural exports, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are major agricultural importers in the region. As for the CLMV economies, except Vietnam, the extent of agricultural imports falls well short of the regional average. One can draw a couple of implications from the historical development of agricultural trade in the ASEAN.

One is that agricultural integration into the world economy is still in progress.

Gaining experience of marketing opening and learning-by-doing in the CLMV economies will make them catch up with their neighbors and lay a stepping stone to a faster rate of economic development. As trade expands, greater amounts of foreign exchange can be earned and invested. The other is related to the spillover effects of globalization.

Globalization has facilitated the rapid spread of agricultural technology, increasing productivity. It has also promoted regional cooperation such that ASEAN can secure a more competitive trading position in the world institutions as well as global markets. Regional Economic Integration and Achievements [5].

ASEAN has made the multi-layered efforts in its economic integration into the world economy. Accordingly, except for rice for the Philippines and Indonesia and sugar for Indonesia, all agricultural products are now registered as IL. Nonetheless, there remains a couple of challenges still to be settled. The increased use of non-ad valorem tariffs in several ASEAN member states is also threatening a transparent and predictable trading system.


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The lowest coverage rate of The RCEP is targeted to achieve a fully liberalized region by deepening convergences and strengthening comprehensive liberalization packages. Figure 5 provides formation of the RCEP and other competing regional agreements under negotiations.

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East Asia's Economic Integration - Progress and Benefit | D. Hiratsuka | Palgrave Macmillan

Up to now, about 97 such arrangements have been signed and implemented most of which are comprehensive in coverage. To analyze determinant factors and patterns of agricultural trade under the ASEAN context, a gravity model is adopted. The gravity model estimates pattern of bilateral trade in terms of economic sizes and geographic distance between two countries. The model is widely used to examine the effectiveness of FTAs, currency unions and common markets Kepaptsoglou et al. More recent empirical studies using the model tend to focus on whether FTAs result in creating or diverting trade.

A trade creation effect occurs when the FTA eliminates existing trade barriers between FTA member counties, leading to a shift in the origin of a product from higher- to lower-cost intra-bloc producers. This creating trade is supposed to improve resource allocation and thus welfare. A trade diversion effect refers to a shift in the origin of a product from lower-cost extra-bloc producers to higher-cost intra-bloc producers, causing a welfare loss and economic inefficiency.

Testing the two effects can be carried out by specifying three different sets of FTA dummy variables in the gravity model. GDP is to represent the economic size of the country or the level of economic development. It also captures the production capacity of the exporting country and the purchasing power of the importing country.

Progress and Benefit

Accordingly, GDP is likely to show a positive relationship with bilateral trade. The effect of population on trade is not crystal clear. A positive coefficient of the population indicates the country with a larger population can explore economies of scale and trade a wider range of diversified goods with trading partners. Conversely, it is also probable that population and trade marks a negative relationship. Larger populations imply larger domestic markets with richer resource endowment and diversified outputs such that they are less likely to depend international specialization.

In a similar vein, the impact of the rural population on agricultural trade between the two countries is ambiguous. D ijt represents the geographical or economic distance between the two countries.

Connectivity between ASEAN and India and the Significance of the Dawei Development Project

It serves as proxies for transportation costs and delivery time, access to markets and communication costs, and other factors that deter flows of goods across borders. The anticipated sign of the distance variable is negative. A positive and statistically significant coefficient of the variable confirms the trade creation effect, indicating intra-ASEAN agricultural trade has been expedited further by the FTA.

It is necessary to take into account the above binary variables together in order to figure out the trade effects of ASEAN formulation. Table 8 shows possible trade effects with the coefficient combinations of binary variables. These cultural or historical ties are expected to promote agricultural trade between the two countries. A balanced panel data which treat agricultural trade between pairs of countries over the periods of Agricultural products are defined by the Harmonized System HS codes ranging from 0 to 24 at the two-digit level.

More recent data are derived from the World Development Indicators database by the World Bank and then added to the dataset. To deal with this underestimation bias, the Heckman two stage procedure is adopted Heckman The first stage is to estimate the Probit model whose dependent variable is a binary variable, representing whether or not trade occurs between the two countries.