Regional integration occurs naturally, albeit very unevenly, during the course of the development of private markets. “Natural” market integration is a processcharacterized by progressive convergence of economic and social parameters between locals and regions and increasing degrees of interdependence.
Regional integration also can be driven by policy-induced regional cooperation, or regionalism Formal policy- induced integration can emerge in the economic, social, political spheres. In many developing countries there is a particularly extensive Post-Warexperience with economic integration. The most typical starting point of economic integration has been creation of free trade areas or customs unions, often with the objective of deepening into acommon market or community.
THE NEW REGIONALISM
Meanwhile, the New Regionalism is inserted into a framework of policy reform that promotes open and competitive private market-based economies in amodern democratic institutional setting. Indeed, the New Regionalism is an extension of that very policy reform process.
The Objectives of the New Regionalism
Developing countries’ interest inpursuing regional integration agreements involves more than securing stable access to markets. The broader motive is to strengthen structural reform and the capacity to participate in globalization.1990s there has been an important renewal of integration processes in developing countries. Even areas like Asia, which traditionally has not shown great interest in formal regional integration, havepursued important collective initiatives. Moreover, this New Regionalism generally is being approached in a way that is instrumental to structural reform and a more effective insertion into a globalizingworld economy.
Latin America and the Caribbean seems to be the most advanced in these processes; Africa has many initiatives, but unsatisfactory results, while Asia has lurched forward with...