Regional economic cooperation is a way of moving towards a global economy. It provides a model that attracts technology and investment. In the contemporary scenario, regional economic cooperation is considered as the means for enhancing economic development and providing economic security within a specific geographical region.
There are many regional organizations that work together, with their member countries to ensure holistic development within their geographical region. We’ve discussed some of them below. Students are advised to carefully go through each of these organizations, their functions, date of establishment, and member countries.
But before all that, let us first understand the need for regional economic cooperation and the guidelines for promoting it.
Regional economic cooperation makes it possible to bring a large part of the population out from poverty. Thus, it is a means to enhance economic development; and to improve the living conditions of people.
The benefits of economic cooperation among nations are many. It can lead to transport, trade, and new opportunities for investment. It allows the participant countries to overcome their small size of domestic markets; and achieve economies of scale. Additionally, it increases the competitiveness of the firms; and leads to the formation of new supply chains. A broad market allows developing countries to expand their current industries and promote new ones.
Every nation attempts to promote regional economic cooperation; but there are specific guidelines that should be followed.
|Organization||Head (As of April 2020)||Headquarters||Members|
|Association of South-East Nations (ASEAN)||Lim Jock Hoi||Jakarta, Indonesia||Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam|
|Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)||Mahathir Bin Mohamad||Queenstown, Singapore||Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea,
Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, USA, Vietnam
|Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)||H E Mohammad Shahidul Islam||Dhaka, Bangladesh||Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand|
|South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)||H E Esala Ruwan Weerakoon||Kathmandu, Nepal||Afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka|
|Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)||Dr. Nomvuyo N Nokwe||Ebene, Mauritius||India, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius,
Seychelles, Iran, Oman, UAE, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, and Somalia.
|Shanghai Cooperation Organisation||Vladimir Norov||Beijing, China||China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan|
Let’s discuss some of the important ones in detail:
Headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia, ASEAN is a 10-member group that was founded on August 8, 1967. It promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, educational, security, military, and sociocultural integration among its member nations.
In 2010, India signed a free trade agreement with ASEAN under the Look East Policy. It is an effort to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia to strengthen its standing as a regional power.
Founded on June 6, 1997, BIMSTEC is an association of seven countries. The main objective of BIMSTEC is economic and technological cooperation among its member countries. The leadership is rotated in alphabetical order of names of the member countries.
This was a brief overview of some of the regional organizations that ensure regional economic cooperation. You should study each one of these in detail; especially, the headquarters and names of the head of each of these organizations should be at your fingertips. Questions related to the host-country of the latest summit of these organizations are also asked in General Awareness. Keep a tab on current affairs to cover these areas.
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