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Exploring Pathways for Deeper Regional Cooperation on NTMs in ASEAN and East Asia

Exploring Pathways for Deeper Regional Cooperation on NTMs in ASEAN and East Asia
16 February 2024
Kaoru Nabeshima, Ayako Obashi, Kunhyui Kim
NTM, regional integration, AEC, CPTPP, RCEP, China-Japan-Korea FTA

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In this paper, we develop and examine an indicator for regulatory harmonisation amongst member countries in a given regional agreement based on the regulatory differences between countries using a non-tariff measure (NTM) data set. This study defines the ‘optimal’ set of regulations as the set of regulations where the adoption cost (i.e. differences in regulation between a base country and a partner country) is the lowest, considering all the possible trading pairs in an agreement. This provides guidance to policymakers regarding which country’s regulations could serve as the basis for discussion on regulatory harmonisation. To do so, we examine regional integration efforts in Asia – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and China–Japan–Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations (CJK).

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