RIS-DP # 92/2005
Regionalism has become a key component of the new international order. It offers to the governments of developed and developing countries a new and attractive complementary strategy to multilateralism. Most countries of the world today belong to one or more regional trading arrangements of some kind covering more than two-thirds of the trade conducted. The Asia Pacific region is no exception to this trend. This paper examines the evolving regional trading panorama in the Asia Pacific region with its recent surge in bilateralism and its implications for evolving a regional trade and investment architecture. It argues that by facilitating the development of a seamless, region-wide zone of trade and investment, the region will enhance its prospects for becoming worlds center of economic growth and prosperity by 2020.