Chapter 9 concludes the book and argues that regional economic integration is now here to stay. Even though the results of the Uruguay Round provided a major impetus to multilateral solutions in international trade, regional trade arrangements (mainly free trade areas) continue to proliferate. The new post-Doha Round WTO is unlikely to stop that trend. Multilateral liberalisation and regionalism could be mutually reinforcing, provided that the regional integration schemes adopt a relatively liberal external trade and investment policy, and that they cooperate. On those grounds, and if these conditions hold, integration arrangements may be a favourable development for the world economy. It is important to bear in mind that countries grow richer together in the medium and long term, not at each other’s expense.
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