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OECD Territorial Reviews: Trans-border Urban Co-operation in the Pan Yellow Sea Region, 2009

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Trans-border Urban Co-operation in the Pan Yellow Sea Region, 2009
The Pan Yellow Sea Region (PYSR) covers the coasts of Northern China (Bohai Rim), western and southern Korea and south-western Japan (Kyushu). It has been one of the fastest growing economic zones in East Asia since China’s opening in the early 1990s, thanks to the region’s extensive manufacturing and transportation networks. Development has been driven by cities such as Dalian, Qingdao and Tianjin in China, Busan and Incheon in Korea, and Fukuoka and Kitakyushu in Japan. 

However, the PYSR has yet not fully utilised its assets nor reached its potential for growth.  Further economic integration has been hindered by excessive competition and inadequate co-operation within the region. The regional transportation system requires structural changes to be integrated, especially in the container transportation market. Deepening the region’s social and cultural network remains a challenge. And environmental concerns are increasingly attracting attention. This report analyses these factors and assesses a wide range of policies to improve the PYSR’s competitiveness and integration.

In particular, the report examines the PYSR’s trans-border governance system, which has emerged since the 1990s as a key regional policy agenda. The harmonisation of authorities within the region is a prerequisite to achieving economic success and addressing the PYSR’s diverse challenges. A comparative analysis of trans-border cooperation in OECD countries in Europe and North America is also included in an annex. This report will be of special interest to policy makers, researchers, NGOs and others active in trans-border development or Asian economic development. 

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Towards deepening trans-border co-operation in the Pan Yellow Sea Region

As we described in the previous chapter, regional integration in the PYSR has been primarily driven by business sectors taking advantage of economic complementarities across borders, combined with the favourable waves of decentralisation and globalisation since the 1990s. Following this economic integration, many other sectors in the PYSR have also built extensive interregional networks. One notable case is the transportation network. Having benefited from their world-class port facilities, many cities in the PYSR have actively constructed dense port linkages to be the backbone of regional integration. Another example is the socio-cultural network, inspired by historic ties and intensified further by the increasing movement of people and goods across borders. Especially among the younger generation in the PYSR , cultural exchanges are sharply growing. The environmental co-operation network has also had substantial outcomes. Many dialogue channels are being created and several projects to address common environmental concerns in the PYSR have been launched. Against this background and a conceptual framework developed in Section 1.4, in this chapter we first analyse the PYSR ’s production network (Section 2.1), then move on to the transportation network (Section 2.2) and the socio-cultural network (Section 2.3). Finally in Section 2.4 we discuss environmental co-operation.

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