International Business: Regional Economic Integration

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With the aid of any three Regional Economic Integration Schemes, examine the impact of regional economic integration on international business. 1.0 INTRODUCTION Regional alliances to promote liberalization of international trade are an important feature of the post-World War 2 international landscape. There are more than 100 such agreements in existence. They present international business with a myriad of opportunities and challenges. The past years have seen a rise in trading blocs; countries are seeking to integrate their economies more closely in an attempt to open new markets for their firms and subsequently lower prices for their consumers (Griffin & Pustay, 2002, p. 254). 1.1 DEFINITION OF REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION Regional economic integration can be referred to as any type of arrangement in which countries agree to coordinate their trade, fiscal, and/or monetary policies. (Define what is regional economic integration, n.d.). (Hill, 2003, p. 284) highlights that regional economic integration is the agreement among countries in a geographic region to reduce, and ultimately remove, tariff and nontariff barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and factors of production between each other. (Baldwin, 2004, p. 2) states that geographic discriminatory trade policy is the defining characteristic of a regional integration agreement. According to (Wild, Wild, & Han, 2014), they stated that a group of nations in a geographic region undergoing economic integration is called a regional trading bloc. 1.2 WHY REGIONAL INTEGRATION One of the most compelling arguments for regional integration in Sub Saharan Africa, or any other place, is usually made on the basis of the fragmentation of sub-Saharan Africa, which has 47 small economies, with an average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$4 billion, and a combined GDP equal to that of

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