Der Regionalismus in Asien nimmt zu

Diese Woche haben Amerika und Singapur die letzten Hindernisse für ein bilaterales Freihandelsabkommen aus dem Weg geräumt. Solche Abkommen breiten sich wie ein Lauffeuer in ganz Asien aus.

Bis vor kurzem verfolgten die meisten Ostasiatischen Länder eine nicht-diskriminierende Handelspolitik durch unilaterale Liberalisierung, die Asiatische/Pazifische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft und die Welthandelsorganisation (WHO). Wie die Abmachung zwischen den USA und Singapur zeigt, werden diskriminierende bilaterale und regionale Initiativen immer beliebter. Jetzt erscheint auch ein ostasiatischer Block um China bzw. Japan plausibel. Wird all diese Geschäftemacherei die Region innerhalb der WHO in den Hintergrund drängen?

Allgemein ist die Wirtschaftspolitik in den ostasiatischen Ländern, die gut in den Weltmarkt integriert sind, relativ liberal. Allerdings gibt es auch große Unterschiede. Hongkong und Singapur sind Freihäfen. Südkorea und Taiwan haben in den letzten Jahren eine weitreichende Liberalisierung vorangetrieben. Malaysia ist hinlänglich offen, aber mit einem erheblichen Anteil an Protektion, besonders, was die Dienstleistungen betrifft. Der thailändische Protektionismus bleibt weiterhin groß. Indonesien und die Philippinen versinken in politischer und wirtschaftlicher Instabilität. Myanmar, Vietnam, Kambodscha und Laos, alles sehr arme Länder, sind sehr protektionistisch.

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