THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Prospects of Economic Integration among the ECO Countries
The idea that the collective regional economic prospects of the countries of a region exceed the sum of their individual prospects has attracted the attention of politicians and economists since the World War II. Its best known example has been the Treaty of Rome in the Euro-Mediterranean region, which has nearly half of the regional trade agreements in operation. GATT rules allowed the regional trade agreements so long as they promoted freer intraregional trade without raising trade barriers for the third countries. These agreements have indeed been seen as complementary to the multilateral free trade initiatives. With the advent of the WTO and the onset of globalisation, the countries categorised as fast integrators are considered to have better prospects than those categorised as slow integrators.