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  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: China, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Stephen Hoadley
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: University of British Columbia
  • Abstract: This article surveys the free trade agreement (FTA) initiatives of three governments: Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. It examines each in a search for motives, not only for negotiating FTAs within the region but also for reaching outside Asia to find negotiating partners. It finds that the presumption of economic gain as the primary motive must be qualified because the markets of many of the extra-regional partners are relatively small in Asian terms, and their trade and investment barriers are already amongst the lowest in the world. This is especially true of New Zealand and Chile, which nevertheless are becoming popular extra-regional partners for Asian governments. While the national and sectoral economic motives announced by the trade spokespeople for Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are acknowledged as predominant, this article goes beyond such declarations to explore the explicit and implicit diplomatic, political and bureaucratic aims that could account more fully for these trade negotiation initiatives. In accordance with the conceptual analysis presented by SolĂ­s and Katada in this issue of Pacific Affairs, the drivers of FTAs are grouped into three broad categories: 1) economic motives; 2) security and diplomatic motives; and 3) leverage motives. Seven hypotheses derived from these categories are employed to guide this survey of recent FTA initiatives by Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, and to explore their reasons for engaging with FTA partners both outside and within the Southeast Asian region.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Southeast Asia