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The dynamics of preferential trade agreements and domestic institutions---an alternative route towards Asian regionalism: A case study of Singapore and Thailand's preferential trade agreements.

Chitranukroh, Krirkbhumi (2008) The dynamics of preferential trade agreements and domestic institutions---an alternative route towards Asian regionalism: A case study of Singapore and Thailand's preferential trade agreements. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The greatest concentration of regionalism in international trade today can be found in the Asian Pacific region, and the number of international trade agreements in that region is still rising. In the general literature on regionalism, some proponents claim that regionalism can be a test-site for developing countries to enhancing their institutional capacity, before they actively engage in future trade liberalising agreements. Could the institutional enhancement explain the rise of regionalism in the Asian region. This claim, however, remains empirically untested. This thesis aims to examine this claim by observing the effects inter-regional trade agreements have on developing countries, especially on provisions that eliminate regulatory barriers to trade, and how those provisions may enhance institutional capacity to tackle future trade agreements with regulatory barriers to trade. More importantly, the thesis examines whether those improvements contribute to developments of their own intra-regional trade agreements. The case study countries chosen are Singapore and Thailand because they have spearheaded the most trade agreements in the region. The thesis examines the effects of regionalism on domestic institutions both at the macro level - general institutions involved with trade policy making, and the micro level - specific institutions involved with the regulatory aspect of trade. To obtain a more comprehensive account of institutional development, the micro level includes two types of institutions: one on the development of trade facilitation, representing trade in goods; the other on the movement of persons, representing trade in services. Overall, developments at the macro and micro levels - improvements in negotiating capacity, moderate progress in governmental cooperation, creation of new governmental agencies, greater involvement of the business community and inputs from civil society- have all contributed to building the case study countries' institutional capacity. This in turn allowed them similarly to improve regulatory barriers to trade in their own intra-regional trade agreements, illustrating how trade agreements enhance developing countries' domestic institutions to engage in future trade agreements.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, South Asian Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2952

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