What is Economic integration?

Economic integration refers to creating multi-country markets by developing transnational rules that reduce the fiscal and physical  barriers  to  trade  as well  as  encourage  greater  economic  cooperation  among countries. Most economic integration occurs through the institution of trade agreements allowing consumers the opportunity to choose from a significantly larger selection of goods than that previously available. Many of these agreements encompass a limited number of countries in close geographic proximity, but the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) involves over 100 nations worldwide.

Trade agreements have created access  to more markets with vast numbers of new customers, new vendor sources for materials and labor, and opportunities for new production operations. In turn, competitive pressures from the need to meet or beat prices and quality of international competitors force organizations to focus on  cost  control,  quality  improvements,  rapid  time-to-market,  and  dedicated  customer  service.   As companies become more  globally  competitive,  consumers’  choices  are  often made  on  the  bases  of price, quality, access (time of availability), and design rather than on whether the goods were made domestically or in another country.
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