Journal of International Logistics and Trade
Jungseok Research Institute of International Logistics and Trade

A Market Friendly Approach to the Construction of a Northeast Asian Economic Hub

Young-Rok Cheong*
1Seoul National University
*Corresponding author: Professor, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

© Copyright 2003 Jungseok Research Institute of International Logistics and Trade. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Dec 31, 2003


Arrangements for regional economic integration, under the WTO system, have unexpectedly dominated globalization. In fact, countries that have realized economic arrangements, such as the EU’s monetary union, are further expanding their efforts to achieve political integration. Regional economic integration is now considered an exigency of national affairs. North East Asian countries are also affected by this global predicament, but the issue involves greater structural complexities in this region. The emergence of China has forced Japan and Korea to contemplate difficult structural adjustments. For example, while the Korean government recognizes the importance of stronger intra-regional economic cooperation, by pursuing these arrangements it simultaneously faces the dilemma of maintaining traditional partnerships, such as those with the USA and Japan. If Korea actively supports regional economic arrangements, this action would be perceived as a bias toward China, consequently damaging ties with the US. Thus, rather than depending on public initiatives to establish economic ties in North East Asia, China, Japan and Korea should rely on market friendly projects initiated by the private sector that endorse gradual integration through non-political activities and exchanges among the citizens of the respective countries. This paper first proposes the founding of a North East Asian United University Community composed of students, professors and campuses of the three countries in the initial stages. Secondly, it proposes the development of unique Asian commodities, a concept similar to that of ‘Airbus.’ Finally, it proposes utilization of retired Japanese, Korean and Chinese engineers and technicians to speed up the overall level of technology, which is critical to overcoming backwardness in this region.