This publication considers whether regional trade agreements have led to a new form of economic co-operation, by promoting deeper integration in the regulatory structures of participating countries. An examination of recent experiences are found to show that, although there is no single model for deeper integration, regional trade agreements have generally more effective than more remote WTO procedures in facilitating trade and improving transparency. Regional processes and rules are found to have been consistent with the multilateral obligations of each party, with additional commitments in the regional agreements complementing WTO rules.
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