Improving ASEAN – East Asia Trade and Investment in Digital Economic Era
Regional trade and investment have emerged as a promising solution to mitigate geopolitical tensions and foster economic growth, particularly through intergovernmental organizations or regional free trade agreements such as the Belt and Road Initiative, RCEP, ASEAN, and the EU. These agreements build a cornerstone for peaceful dispute settlement by facilitating constructive dialogue and collaboration between nations, promoting trust and mutual understanding among participating countries, alleviating geopolitical conflicts. Such agreements further contribute to the development of transportation infrastructure, new industries, and business opportunities, leading to a significant increase in the demand for goods and services between trading partners and unlocking the economic potential for all members. Ultimately, the promotion of regional trade and investment can serve as a means of alleviating drivers of political instability, such as economic hardship and social inequality, both within countries and across regions.
Regional trade and investment have become an increasingly prominent means of enhancing economic and social integration among neighboring countries by leveraging their comparative advantages and specializing in different stages of production. The success of such regional cooperation is built on the foundation of strong connectivity across markets, capital, and labor, which reduces trade costs of intermediary and consumption goods, financing costs of firms, and searching costs of workers within the region. These factors serve to link microscopic agents across countries, fostering mutual understanding and cooperation between them. Additionally, regional economic ties promote greater efficiency, stability, and lower risk for partners. Such partnerships are often founded on closer geographical proximity, shared language, culture, and history, and reduced dependency on external actors. Furthermore, increases in production due to regional trade and investment raise the opportunity costs for cold or hot conflicts between countries and thus provide stronger incentives for countries to seek peaceful solutions of interest contradictions. As such, they can help mitigate the impact of geopolitical tensions and reduce the risk of external interference.
The growth of regional trade and investment links has been identified as a means of enhancing the economic resilience of participating countries by providing a buffer against the uncertainties associated with global trade and economic growth. First, intra-regional trade and investment can enable countries to increase their trade and investment with each other while reducing their dependence on uncertain global markets, including a limited number of dominant export markets and foreign investment countries. Second, the development of a regional community of shared interest creates a platform for cooperation on issues of common concern. Through such cooperation, the alliance of neighborhood countries can increase their regional economic power in the global economy, leveraging their collective strength to advance their interests and promote their values, including the shaping of international policies.
There will be about 400 participants offline (and scores of participants online). Participants are from Government, Academic, Business, NGOs, and Media. For offline participants: all invitations will be coordinated and sent out by Liaoning University. For online participants: Liaoning University and ERIA will share the flyer of the event to their networks.