Fredrik Sjöholm: South and Southeast Asia have experienced high economic growth and rapid development over the last couple of decades. This positive development has been accompanied and caused by various changes in economic policies, one being a change toward a more outward–looking development strategy.

The authors use this development as a starting point to examine whether a deeper integration between South and Southeast Asia would lead to further high economic growth. The estimated effects that come out of the analysis are strikingly large.

The question then becomes, why don't we see any strong willingness to increase integration between these two areas? Here it would have been good to get more background on the political context. My own impression is that Southeast Asia is primarily interested in deeper integration with Northeast Asia. The initiatives and discussions to improve integration with Northeast Asia takes a lot of resources, and leaves considerably less...

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