Singapore most integrated of the 21 APEC economies

Singapore is the most integrated of the 21 economies which make up the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), according to an index released by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) on Wednesday as part of its annual State of the Region report.

In fact, the Asia Pacific region, as a whole, has become more integrated since APEC was founded 20 years ago.

The PECC index of economic integration tracks the extent to which the APEC economies are becoming more alike in their economic characteristics.

It also looks at the relative importance of regional trade, investment and human flows compared to economic relations with the rest of the world.

Said Woo Yuen Pau, coordinator of the report: “The path of integration has been rising pretty much through the entire two decade period, and we think that APEC can take some credit in enhancing the deepening of regional integration which surely is one of the fundamental goals of the APEC forum.”

Mr Woo said the index made use of 2006 data, and the integration levels now would be even deeper than the report.

“Integration will continue to have deepened through the 2006 to 2009 period, simply because the share of inter-regional trade and investment and human flows would have increased through this period because of the downturn in the United States and the European Union, he explained. “So, I’m fully expecting that when we produce our index next year, and the year after, we will find that integration will continue to be on the rise.”

PECC said it believes the findings to be significant as a measure of APEC’s success and a factor in assessing its progress towards the 2010 Bogor target.

The Bogor Goals, adopted at the 1994 APEC summit, calls for industrialised members to achieve free trade and investment targets by 2010.

Developing member economies have until 2020.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 11 Nov 2009

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