session for their valuable comments. The errors remain ours 1 Overview of the paper The paper discusses European and East Asian Integration, and makes some comparisons between developments in the two regions. We stress that the process of integration is a political process as well as an economic one, and that the stimulation of competition is more important than the generation of trade in achieving the economic and political objectives that the Europeans have set themselves. It is therefore important before comparing integration in Europe and East Asia to note that the political agenda in the two regions may not be the same. European integration progressed from a custom union in the 1950s to a single market in the 1980s and finally to a currency union in 1999 and 2002. Over the course of integration, the EU benefited particularly from trade expansion and economies of scale from increasing internal specialisation. In addition it is clear that productivity growth increased as a result of rising competition as economic integration increased. We look at the evolving patterns of trade and competitiveness, and discuss the literature on the rol
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