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Are regionalism and globalisation compatible or contradictory trends?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Regionalism and the globalization process.
    1. A world dominated by the Triad members of Europe.
    2. The example of communities in the African, Pacific and Caribbean countries.
    3. Evolution of countries in a global environment.
    4. The creation of a RIAs: Stimulating the trading flow.
    5. Regional central banks.
  3. Globalization: Regionalism and the regional integration agreements.
    1. The growth of regional trading blocs.
    2. Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
    3. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliiography.

Nowadays, it is paradoxical to see the development, in a global world, of several types of regions. This process began after the Second World War, with the development of the international trade flows between economies. The creation in 1957 of the European Economic Community, by the Treaty of Rome, has launched this phenomenon. In response to this trend, other countries in the world, seeing the creation of this bloc, have created free trade areas, customs unions or common markets. Thus, we have seen the creation of the American Common market in 1960, the African Common Market in 1962 and other forms of regional protectionist unions. This phenomenon can be assimilated as the ?Old Regionalism', which had a tendency to create regional integration agreements and further the form of defensive protectionism.

[...] Thanks to Articles 24 and 25 of the GATT, countries are allowed to create free trade areas or regional integration agreements if they do not encourage discrimination with non-members. To go a bit further, we can observe that the creation of a RIAs stimulate the trading flows and the general trading system by eliminating the tariff barriers and liberalizing the trading system between members. This stimulation can lead to a ?trade creation', which is ?when high-cost domestic producers are replaced by low-cost external suppliers within the free trade area?. [...]


[...] Going a little further on this point, we can say that regionalism creates a sharp division in the world by creating big trading blocs, which are creating more and more intra-zone trading flows and isolating themselves from others. The world trading system becomes more about a bloc opposition rather than a global trading co-operation. Thus, European Community (1958), which has grown from six to a dozen participating countries, has gone beyond reducing barriers to trade among member states. It also coordinates and harmonizes each country's tax, industrial, and agricultural policies. [...]


[...] Regionalism comes as a response to this by creating an identity and in regulating the power of corporation with institutions, which are the democratic representations of an area's members. Regionalism comes along with globalization regarding the identity of the area or region. As a matter of fact, globalization is aiming at the westernization of civilizations, the cultures and more generally, of everything; regionalism, as Andy Wood of Adnams says: me, the future in Europe is not about globalization, brands and homogenization; it's about regionalism and regional identity, and what we have to offer is a celebration of regional identity? (Andy Woods). [...]

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