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Economic integration and the explosion of scientific knowledge.

By Torrance Mayberry

The explosion of scientific knowledge fostered by human behaviour is sustaining international economic integration. Economic integration describes a climate in

which nations increase trade and flows of ideas that achieve closer ties. This is particularly the case with the creativity and innovation growth velocity in health and biologicals. In the foreground of economic integration are agreements established between nations to decrease or eliminate artificial barriers to trade and to ensure the free flow of goods, services and production (Hill, 2011).

On Wednesday 03, 2013, a newspaper article titled "Every last drop of cattle blood wanted (Stuff.co.nz (original source: The New Zealand Dominion Post), 2013), displayed the economic impact of integration between two leading companies in New Zealand and the United States that are Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members. TPP constitutes a free trade agreement (FTA) to expand trade and investment opportunities in Asia-Pacific region. This trading block encompasses some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Economic integration is enabling health and biological innovations to freely flow within a region that comprises 40% of the worlds population and that produces more than 50% of the worlds gross domestic product (GDP). As shown in Figure 1, trade in goods and services between TPP members has increased from 5% to 31% as of 2011 (Williams, 2013).

The trade pattern has the possibility of increasing the growth profile of TPP members that can apply scientific knowledge to advance health and biological innovations to produce bovine serum albumin (BSA). BSA is widely used in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and diagnostics, medical research, and immunoglobulins in dietary supplements that address gut inflammation. The market growth for health care

coincides with a growing middle class in emerging markets like China, Brazil, and India.

Figure 1: TPP Members Goods and Services Trade in 2011.

The economic integration has enabled inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) into New Zealand of $20 to $25 million to build a Proliant manufacturing plant. This will transfer to New Zealand from America intellectual property (IP) and technology innovations to manufacture BSA. In addition, Proliant will employ a highly educated workforce in New Zealand that will contribute a portion of $1.5 million estimated earnings to tax.

The economic integration of TPP members offers a pathway to facilitate gains to create wealth from the market growth in BSA that is increasing at an estimated rate of 1-3% per annum (MLA, 2011).

Some possible limitations to economic integration as it relates to health and biologicals include: Its sustainability is reliant on the generation of scientific knowledge. Member countries encompass cultures that abstain from ingesting blood products.

The wealth disparity in developed member nations will persist as it is mostly highly educated individuals that will be employed to operate its technological innovations.

The vulnerability of food safety and infiltration at the point of BSA production can introduce food-borne pathogens into the food supply. Economic gains achieved can easily be wiped out as fast as they are created.

Although economic integration does provide opportunities for long term growth prospects in TPP member countries, there are significant impacts that policy makers need to understand. This is particularly the case in the health and biologicals industry.

References:

GAO, S. H. (2010). The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement: A Critical Analysis. Legal Issues of Economic Integration, 37(3), 221-240. Hill., C. (2011).International Business. Competing in the Global Marketplace. McGraw Hill Irwin, New York.

Meat & Livestock Australia. (January 2011). Bioactive opportunities for the Australian red meat industry. Retrieved on 10-03-2013 <http://www.redmeatinnovation.com.au/project-reports/report-categories/coproducts/bioactive-opportunities-for-the-australian-red-meat-industry >

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. (January 2013). US announces full participation in Trans-Pacific FTA. Retrieved on 10-03-2013 <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Countries/North-America/United-States.php#facts>

Ravenhill., J. (2009). Extending the TPP: The political economy of multilateralization in Asia. In Asia-Pacific Trade Economists Conference, ARTNeT (pp. 2-3). Stuff.co.nz (original source: The New Zealand Dominion Post). (2013). Every last drop' of cattle blood wanted. Retrieved on 08-03-2-2013 <http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/8390444/Every-last-drop-of-cattle-bloodwanted >

Williams., B. (2013). Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved on 11-03-2013 < http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R42344.pdf >