| || || Kumar, Radika|
| || || Regional economic integration in the Pacific : a comparative assessment of Balassa (1961) and Torrent (2003) approaches|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: International economic integration, Globalization -- Economic aspects -- Oceania, Oceania -- Economic integration
Call No.: Pac HC 681 .K86 2016
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Regional Economic Integration (REI) is not a new phenomenon. Different regions around the world have pursued REI in order to achieve the ultimate objective of growth and development. In the ambition to pursue REI, regions have adopted different processes or pathways to reach the final objectives. Balassa (1961) had developed a theory of REI based on a unidirectional approach towards regional economic integration. According to Balassa (1961) trade integration is a five step process commencing with Free Trade Area, Customs Union, Common Market, Economic Union and finally a Political Union. The European Union Model of REI is the closest in proxy to the notion proposed by Balassa (1961). However, this theory and its applicability in the context of the Pacific have to be examined in order to ascertain its significance or insignificance. A further, plausible and practical approach towards REI in so far as trade integration is concerned has to be explored for the Pacific. This PhD thesis therefore examines the extent of the applicability of Balassa’s theory of regional economic integration vis-à-vis regional trade for the Pacific and examines whether the Ramon (2003) approaches provide an alternative. This research findings show major policy implications for the Pacific REI process in trade under the current unidirectional form and the failure towards it in the Pacific. A unidirectional approach is more process based than outcomes. It is not applicable for the Pacific REI in trade. As a result, REI in trade for the Pacific region merits a different approach where the needs of the different countries are accounted for and also one that is based on outcomes instead of processes. The key findings of the thesis which add to the literature of new knowledge in that the linear model of regional economic integration, proposed by Balassa’s (1961) theory is not the best applied approach for the Pacific. Furthermore, the research findings add value to the literature of knowledge by identifying an alternative approach on a multidimensional aspect for trade integration in the Pacific. The vi Torrent (2003) approach proposes an Analytical Framework of the Regional Economic Integration. This is used as a basis to develop an alternative framework for regional economic integration. The extension of Torrent (2003) approach for the Pacific encompasses a multidimensional framework of regional economic integration. This multidimensional framework provides a more practical approach for trade integration in the Pacific. It commences from trade in services, complementing sectoral agreements, institutional trade facilitation development and ends with trade in goods agreement. In other words, it provides for a mix and reversal process of economic integration in trade achieving the ultimate legitimate objective of any REI that is growth and development of a region.