Is a regional trading bloc forming in southeast Asia? New evidence for ASEAN countries

Andrzej Cieślik 1  and Tao Song 1
  • 1 Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw


This article studies the impact of ASEA N on the bilateral exports of its 10 member countries. It reports the results of applying the gravity model to a data set covering 50 partner countries from 1967 to 2008. The study’s empirical findings show that on average ASEA N regionalism significantly increases bilateral exports. However, the results are country-specific and indicate that ASEA N seems to benefit only large economies with a long history of membership, while smaller more recent members do not show significant expansion of exports.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). Available from: .

  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Available from: .

  • Cieślik, A 2009, ‘Bilateral trade volumes, the gravity equation and factor proportions’, Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 37-59.

  • Cieślik, A & Hagemejer, J 2009, ‘Assessing the impact of the EU-sponsored trade liberalization in the MENA countries’, Journal of Economic Integration vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 344-369.

  • Cieślik, A & Hagemejer, J 2011, ‘Evaluating the effectiveness of preferential trade liberalization in Central and Eastern Europe’, International Trade Journal vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 516-538.

  • De Benedictis, L, De Santis, R & Vicarelli, C 2005, ‘Hub-and-spoke or else? Free trade agreements in the ‘enlarged’ European Union’, European Journal of Comparative Economics, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 245-260.

  • Elliot, R. & Ikemoto, K 2004, ‘AFTA and the Asian crisis: Help of hindrance to ASEAN intra-regional trade?’, Asian Economic Journal, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 1-23.

  • Endoh, M 2000, ‘The transition of postwar Asia-Pacific trade relations’, Journal of Asian Economics, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 571-589.

  • Frankel, J & Wei, SJ 1997, Regional trading blocs in the world economic system, Institute for International Economics, Washington. DC.

  • Medvedev, D 2010, ‘Preferential trade agreements and their role in world trade’, Review of World Economics, vol. 146, no. 2, pp. 199-222.

  • Peridy, N 2005, ‘The trade effects of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership: what are the lessons for ASEAN countries?’, Journal of Asian Economics Elsevier, vol. 16, no.1, pp. 125-139.

  • Sharma, S.C. & Chua, SY 2000, ‘ASEAN economic integration and intra-regional trade’, Applied Economic Letters, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 165-169.

  • Siah, KL, Choong, CK, & Yusop, Z 2009, ‘AFTA and the intra-trade patterns among ASEAN 5 economies: Trade enhancing or trade inhibiting?’, International Journal of Economics and Finance, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 117-126.

  • Soloaga, I & Winters, AL 2001, ‘Regionalism in the nineties: What effect on trade?’, North American Journal of Economics and Finance, vol.12, no. 1, pp.1-29.

  • STATA, statistical software 1996-2012. Available from: .

  • World Trade Organization. Available from: .


Journal + Issues