Development in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle

Toh Mun Heng
Public Access Documents

In this article, we explore whether regional economic cooperation in the form of growth triangle, made popular during the late 1980s, can continue to be relevant in the face of more formal arrangements as in free trade agreements (FTAs) and other bilateral closer economic partnerships (CEPs) initiatives in the recent years. In particular, the discussion is focussed on the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore growth triangle (IMS-GT) which is the pioneering arrangement in Southeast Asia. IMS-GT continues to be a successful mode of cooperation among the three countries and will remain a key and subtle framework for regional economic collaboration amidst the plethora of initiatives relating to FTAs and CEPs. This paper put forth a thesis that GT is part of a spectrum of regional cooperation efforts with convergence interest to be in synchrony with the global value chain. As long as the formation and implementation of GT contribute to the creation of value, it can co-exist with more formal arrangements like the FTAs and CEPs.