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APD | Regional cooperation seen to help rising cross-border challenges

Business2018-10-23

By APD writer Melo M. AcunaMANILA, Oct.23 (APD) – The latest report from Asian Development Bank (ADB) said regional cooperation is “increasingly necessary to tackle an increasing number of cross-border challenges” in Asia and the Pacific which includes infrastructure gaps, trade connectivity, financial contagion, and climate and disaster-resilience.In its Asian Economic Integration Report 2018 (AEIR), the ADB underscored the need for collective action to build regional public goods that would bring definitely bring greater benefits rather than when countries opt to work alone to address issues that also affect their neighbors.“Regional public goods are goods, services, and systems of policies or rules that have shared benefits across countries, such as cross-border infrastructure, communicable disease control, and disaster risk management,” the ADB said in a statement released in Singapore at 9:00 A.M. today (1:00 A.M. GMT).“Enhanced regional cooperation and coordination can help countries manage regional issues, particularly if they complement national and global actions,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.  He added multilateral development banks can help increase regional public goods by reducing knowledge and financing gaps and promoting regular policy dialogue for long-term cooperation among countries.The report identified several efforts in Asia to establish and strengthen regional public goods.  The report cited the 2014 pledge by 18 Asian leaders to eliminate malaria by 2030 and motivated countries to work together to achieve the goal to benefit the entire region.According to the report, the ADB’s Greater Mekong Sub-region Health Security Project to help control communicable diseases in the Mekong region border areas is part of such efforts.  Trade facilitation programs between countries in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation resulted in an increase in intraregional trade and supporting economic growth.It was found Asia’s intra-regional trade which is measured by value, rose to 57.8% of its total global trade in 2017 from 57.2% in 2016.  The recovery in regional trade is attributable to the expansion of global value chains after a slowdown in 2012.  Intraregional foreign direct investment also increased slightly to US$ 260.0 billion in 2017 from US$ 254.7 billion in 2016.The repost added growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific can be a “buffer” for the region against uncertainties in the global economy.  However, the same statement said uncertainty about trade policy could dampen the recovery in regional and global trade and damage consumer sentiment and along with business confidence in capital spending and investment.The regional integration in Asia and the Pacific, measured by ADB’s Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index or ARCII, increased modestly from 0.525 in 2015 to 0.530 in 2016 “with a positive impact on economic growth and poverty reduction.”The index incorporates six sub-indexes that measure trade and investment, money and finance, the regional value chain, infrastructure and connectivity, movement of people and institutional and social integration.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

By APD writer Melo M. Acuna

MANILA, Oct.23 (APD) – The latest report from Asian Development Bank (ADB) said regional cooperation is “increasingly necessary to tackle an increasing number of cross-border challenges” in Asia and the Pacific which includes infrastructure gaps, trade connectivity, financial contagion, and climate and disaster-resilience.

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In its Asian Economic Integration Report 2018 (AEIR), the ADB underscored the need for collective action to build regional public goods that would bring definitely bring greater benefits rather than when countries opt to work alone to address issues that also affect their neighbors.

“Regional public goods are goods, services, and systems of policies or rules that have shared benefits across countries, such as cross-border infrastructure, communicable disease control, and disaster risk management,” the ADB said in a statement released in Singapore at 9:00 A.M. today (1:00 A.M. GMT).

“Enhanced regional cooperation and coordination can help countries manage regional issues, particularly if they complement national and global actions,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.  He added multilateral development banks can help increase regional public goods by reducing knowledge and financing gaps and promoting regular policy dialogue for long-term cooperation among countries.

The report identified several efforts in Asia to establish and strengthen regional public goods.  The report cited the 2014 pledge by 18 Asian leaders to eliminate malaria by 2030 and motivated countries to work together to achieve the goal to benefit the entire region.

According to the report, the ADB’s Greater Mekong Sub-region Health Security Project to help control communicable diseases in the Mekong region border areas is part of such efforts.  Trade facilitation programs between countries in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation resulted in an increase in intraregional trade and supporting economic growth.

It was found Asia’s intra-regional trade which is measured by value, rose to 57.8% of its total global trade in 2017 from 57.2% in 2016.  The recovery in regional trade is attributable to the expansion of global value chains after a slowdown in 2012.  Intraregional foreign direct investment also increased slightly to US$ 260.0 billion in 2017 from US$ 254.7 billion in 2016.

The repost added growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific can be a “buffer” for the region against uncertainties in the global economy.  However, the same statement said uncertainty about trade policy could dampen the recovery in regional and global trade and damage consumer sentiment and along with business confidence in capital spending and investment.

The regional integration in Asia and the Pacific, measured by ADB’s Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index or ARCII, increased modestly from 0.525 in 2015 to 0.530 in 2016 “with a positive impact on economic growth and poverty reduction.”

The index incorporates six sub-indexes that measure trade and investment, money and finance, the regional value chain, infrastructure and connectivity, movement of people and institutional and social integration.

(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

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