The Asia-Pacific region has become more integrated since the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, according to statistics released by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) on Wednesday.
"I think we can take some satisfactions" that the region has been more integrated since the establishment of APEC in 1989, Yuen Pau Woo, co-author of the State of the Region Report on Asia-Pacific, told a press conference in Lima, the Peruvian capital.
It was "good news," he said while releasing the annual report which was prepared by the PECC, a non-government group consisting of 26 member committees in the region.
"Even after removing the effect of sub-regional flows among close neighbors, the index shows that most APEC member economies are more connected to the Asia-Pacific region than they were in 1990," he said.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China is the economy most highly integrated with the Asia-Pacific region, according to a press release issued after the press conference.
There had been a steady upward trend in the economic integration of the region from 1991 through 2000 but that was replaced by a decline or flat trend following the bursting of the IT bubble in 2001, it said.
The integration trend was picked up again in 2004 and 2005, and the effect of the current financial crisis on the integration index remains to be seen, the release said.