Infrastructure connectivity and regional economic integration in East Asia: Progress and challenges

Hong Yu


Intra-regional trade serves as a key growth engine for East Asian economies. Accompanying the
rapid growth of bilateral and intra-regional trade ties, the East Asian economies are becoming
increasingly connected and interdependent. Infrastructure connectivity plays a crucial role in
bridging different areas of the East Asian region and enabling them to reap the full socioeconomic
benefits of economic cooperation and integration. Nevertheless, further improvement of infrastructure
in the region faces major challenges due to the lack of effective mechanisms for
coordination and dialogue on regional integration through funding infrastructure projects, as well
as the serious trust deficit among member states that has arisen from the on-going territorial and
historical disputes.


East Asia; regional economic integration; infrastructure connectivity; China; trust deficit

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