Regional cooperation takes a number of forms. Types of formal regional cooperation include preferential trade agreements, free trade agreements, customs unions, common markets, economic unions, economic and monetary unions, full economic integration, and political unions (Marinov, 2015, pp. 24-25). The literature identifies a number of benefits and risks of regional cooperation. While the literature search conducted for this report did not find evidence that there is a direct link between regional integration and economic growth, the evidence does suggest that regional integration still has a positive impact on growth in member states via the effects of increased trade and investment.
K4D helpdesk reports provide summaries of current research, evidence and lessons learned. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development
Strachan, A.L. (2018). Relationship between regional cooperation and political stability and prosperity. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.