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The authors develop indicators to measure the degree of economic integration and cooperation among East Asian economies and compare these with similar measures for other regions. The indicators cover regional integration in trade, investment, financial assets, and people-to-people exchange. They also analyze measures of regional cooperation such as the density of free trade agreements and official policy dialogues. They find that in various Asian groupings, and especially in a group of 16 integrating Asian economies, interdependence in trade, direct investment, financial flows, and other forms of economic and social exchange has increased significantly over time, and now approaches that in the European Union.
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