External incentives, industrial development and regional economic integration
The revival of regional integration in the European Community (EC) in the early 1980s has brought about profound implications for the development of regional integration and its related theory. Firstly, European industry searching to promote its competitiveness highlighted the need for a "European-level" solution to European economic decline and contributions to the relaunching of European integration. Secondly, as a result of the renewed momentum for regional integration, external factors which were neglected by previous efforts in theory-exploration, have become more noticeable in the process of regional integration.The purpose of this thesis about external factors is to analyse to what extent the progress of regional integration is driven by the private sector. The relaunching of European integration which brought about the successful passage of the Single European Act has demonstrated the crucial contribution of the business community to accelerating the progress of integration.This thesis further offers an analysis of the proposition that the impact of external factors on industrial development is the key to understanding the process of creating the Chinese Economic Area (CEA). It explores the argument that instead of being motivated by political factors, the process of regional integration is primarily stimulated by industrial development in the private sector. It concludes by suggesting a new focus for the study of regional integration - the "external incentives-industrial development" approach, and comparative insights into the EC and the CEA.