The creation and growth of economic integration as an area of economics is the result primarily of practical rather than academic interest. Although economic nationalism and antagonism still prevail as the basic form of world economic order, economic history presents us with specific examples and ambitious plans of economic co‐operation and integration. The example of the US is often cited as a classic case study in economic integration. Viner presented a detailed list of conventions, decrees, etc., concerning customs unions. The French Declaration of May 9, 1950, which led to the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community, manifested for the first time the willingness of a government to overcome old antagonisms and to adopt a programme for European integration. The Treaty of Rome and the establishment of the European Economic Community is another example of the trend towards economic integration among industrialised countries of the West, while COMECON is the primary integration attempt by various centrally planned economies of the Soviet bloc. With respect to less developed countries, the world has experienced a number of ambitious schemes such as the Latin America Free Trade Association, the Central American Common Market, the East African Community, the West African Association, the South African Customs Union, the Arab Common Market, the Southeast Asia Economic Treaty, the Andean Common Market, the Carribean Community and others.
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