Asian Review


Toh Mun Heng

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In this article, I explore whether regional economic cooperation in the form of growth triangles, made popular during the late 1980s, can continue to be relevant in the face of more formal arrangements such as free trade agreements and other bilateral initiatives in recent years. The discussion is focussed on the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore growth triangle which is a pioneering arrangement in Southeast Asia. This project continues to be a successful mode of cooperation among the three countries and will remain a key and subtle framework for regional economic collaboration amidst the plethora of other initiatives. Growth triangles are one of several types of regional cooperation which align with global value chains. As long as the formation and implementation of growth triangles contribute to the creation of value, they can coexist with more formal arrangements such as free trade agreements.



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