National States, and Regional
Response in Southeast and East Asia
Sam Ock Park
Cross-border cooperation and economic integration have become a distinctive trend at various levels of the global space economy. The EU and NAFTA present examples of cross-border economic cooperation at a macroregional level. In Pacific Asia, a comparable process of economic integration or regionalization has not emerged yet. Instead, subregional projects of economic integration have been organized as part of a complex trend of integration and disintegration among the nations of Pacific Asia. 1
Until the recent financial crisis took away the magic, Southeast and East Asia had been dynamic regions within the global economy for quite some time. Within the last decade, subregional integration has been accelerating through cross-border economic cooperation and an increase in the shares of intraregional trade and intraregional FDI. 2 Several factors, such as the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, the rise of the Chinese reform and open door policy, the effect of protectionist policies by North America and the EU, and the industrial restructuring of the Asian NIEs, have contributed to a new momentum for economic cooperation in the region.
Still, conflicts and uncertainties for regional integration remain as a result of cultural differences, historical factors, political conflicts, and differences in levels of economic development. The economies in Southeast and East Asia show a diversity of industrial organizations, industrial cultures, and urban systems. The trend is to go beyond coexistence and aim at regional integration. The regional spatial economy is being