Regional economic integration improves the political cooperation between the neighboring states and reduces the potential for violent conflict.
Do you agree or disagree? Provide your views with examples.
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I agree that regional economic integration improves the political cooperation between the
neighboring states and reduces the potential for violent conflict. Actually, regional economic
integration minimizes the possibility of conflict because it impedes the flow of capital, goods,
people, services, and ideas (Boglioni & Zambelli, 2017). Since the conflict between
neighboring countries is a constraint to economic development, promoting regional economic
integration through institutional and physical infrastructure improves the political cooperation
between the nations. As a matter of fact, divisions between nations due to poor infrastructure,
geography, and inefficient policies are obstacles to economic growth (Urquidi, 2022).
Therefore, regional integration between countries helps the neighbors overcome these costly
divisions by incorporating market factors, services, and products, thus facilitating the flow of
capital, trade, ideas, people, and energy.
Generally, regional economic integration has enabled neighboring states to focus on issues
relevant to their stage of economic development by encouraging trade between the nations.
Regional integration has led to the establishment of free trade (a basic form of economic
cooperation) by removing barriers between neighboring countries (Boglioni & Zambelli,
2017). For example, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was established in
1994 to encourage free trade between Mexico, the US, and Canada. Some neighboring states
have gone into deeper integration by removing market segmentation and import tariffs
(Urquidi, 2022). Regional economic integration increases interdependence between
neighboring states, thus increasing the cost of conflict. As a matter of fact, regional
integration can decrease the probability of neighboring countries going to war by ten percent.
This is because the neighboring states are dependent on the free trade between them, thus
increasing the opportunity cost of war (Boglioni & Zambelli, 2017). I, therefore, agree that
regional economic integration improves the political cooperation between the neighboring
states and reduces the potential for violent conflict.
Regional economic integration brings two or more countries together with the aim of
building an economic bloc. The countries agree to enhance productivity and achieve
interdependent economic goals by eliminating or reducing barriers to trade (TaghizadehHesary et al., 2020). Although regional economic integration focuses on the business and
economic aspects of the countries involved, it has a ripple effect on other aspects of the
relationship, such as politics. I, therefore, agree that regional economic integration improves
political relationships between the involved countries and diminishes the potential for violent
conflicts. Economic integration means that the neighboring countries are benefiting from the
wider market created by the integration.
Therefore, to enhance the economic engagements, the countries develop policies and
laws to govern the relationships leading to better political relations. Also, given the countries
benefit from mutual cooperation, conflicts are handled diplomatically to avoid interfering
with the economic cooperation between member states. For instance, the economic
integration of blocs such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has
led to better political relations between countries like China, South Korea, New Zealand, and
Japan despite their conflicting political ideologies. Other economic blocs such as SADC and
COMESA in Africa have also led to stronger political relations and reduced the potential for
highly charged conflicts.
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