The world economy is expected to experience a 23% increase in the volume of global exports over the decade from 1995 to 2005 . East Asia now accounts for over a quarter of the world's GDP. If current growth rates continue, the region's GDP will overtake North America's by 2011 and Europe's by 2016 .
Clearly, there is a considerable Asian stake in the integration of the EU market. For example, the European Union's trade with East Asia rose above that of its trade with North America for the first time in 1992 . Contrary to popular belief, Japan is not the only major Asian trading power with which Europe now has to contend. Trade with the region's newly industrializing countries accounted for double that of trade with Japan in 1995. Many of these nations have had trade surpluses with the European Union. While East Asia represents the fastest growing source of import penetration into the European Union it is, simultaneously, the fastest growing market for EU exports. For these reasons, Asian businesses--both exporters and those operating in Europe--must be alert to potential problems and opportunities. To survive and, indeed, exploit these momentous events, Asian firms must carefully consider the strategic implications of these changes. Only by developing and implementing appropriate strategies and making the necessary modifications will they be capable of competing in the European Union.
Nabil A. Ibrahim is a Professor in the Business School of Management in the Business School of Augusta State University, Augusta, Georgia. John P. Angelidis is Associate Professor of Management and Department Chairman in the College of Business Administration of St. John's University, Jamaica, New York.
5. Completing the Internal Market ( 1985), Brussels: White Paper from the Commission to the Internal Market.