PROSPECTS FOR THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AND THE ASIA-PACIFIC FREE TRADE AREA
E. Ya. ARAPOVA
Candidate of Economic Sciences, MGIMO (U) of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Keywords: Asia-Pacific region, Trans-Pacific Partnership, free trade area, economic partnership, regional integration, APEC, Asian regionalism
The APEC Summit* held in Beijing in November 2014 was of historical significance for the development of regional economic integration processes in the Asia-Pacific region. President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping has put into practice the idea of creating a region-wide Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (APFTA). The countries participating in the summit not only discussed the idea of creating an integration association, which was discussed at previous meetings in a multilateral format, but also approved the Roadmap proposed by the Chinese side. The new free trade zone, if it is successfully formed, may become the only regional integration project that unites the two "poles" of global imbalances-China and the United States, as well as Russia.
The APFTA project can be considered a Chinese alternative to the pro-American Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)concept** ; however, all 12 TPP countries are participants of the APEC Forum and, consequently, potential APFTA member countries. In other words, the creation of a free trade zone within these countries automatically implies the achievement of key agreements in the Trans-Pacific Partnership format.
ECONOMIC BACKGROUND OF INTEGRATION
Today in the Asia-Pacific region (APR) there are a number of economic and political factors that hinder the implementation of any regional integration projects. First of all, they include differences in the levels of economic development and the structure of foreign trade of countries participating in integration trends, economic growth strategies, the nature and degree of regulation of foreign trade, as well as the political ambitions of major regional players, such ... Read more