La Montée du régionalisme en Asie

Cette semaine, les États-Unis et Singapour ont réglé les derniers détails liés à un accord bilatéral de libre échange (ALE). De tels accords se développent à la vitesse d'un cheval au galop à travers toute l'Asie.

Jusqu'à récemment, la plupart des pays d'Asie du Sud-Est suivaient des politiques de non discrimination grâce à une libéralisation unilatérale, la Communauté de Coopération Asie Pacifique, et l'Organisation Mondiale du Commerce (OMC). Comme le démontre l'accord entre les États-Unis et Singapour, des initiatives bilatérales et régionales discriminatoires sont de plus en plus appréciées. La formation d'un bloc économique en Asie de l'Est autour de la Chine ou du Japon semble maintenant possible. Ces signatures d'accords mettront-elles sur la touche la région au sein de l'OMC ?

Les pays de l'Asie de l'Est ont des politiques de libre échange relativement libérales et sont raisonnablement bien intégrés à l'économie mondiale. Cela toutefois masque de grandes différences. Hongkong et Singapour sont des ports libres. La Corée du Sud et Taiwan se sont beaucoup libéralisées dernièrement. La Malaisie est relativement ouverte mais a conservé certaines protections douanières, particulièrement dans le domaine des services. Le protectionnisme thaïlandais reste puissant. L'Indonésie et les Philippines baignent dans l'instabilité économique et politique. Myanmar, le Vietnam, le Cambodge et le Laos, tous très pauvres, bénéficient de niveaux de protection plus élevés.

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