Manila: Regional cooperation is increasingly necessary to tackle a rising number of cross-border challenges in Asia and the Pacific, including infrastructure gaps, trade connectivity, financial contagion, and climate and disaster-resilience, according to a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Tuesday. The Asian Economic Integration Report 2018 (AEIR) says collective action to build regional public goods brings greater benefits than if countries work alone to address issues that also affect their neighbours, reports Xinhua news agency.
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. “Enhanced regional cooperation and coordination can help countries manage regional issues, particularly if they complement national and global actions,” ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada said. He added that “multilateral development banks can help increase regional public goods by reducing knowledge and financing gaps as well as promoting regular policy dialogue for long-term cooperation among countries”. The report points to several efforts in Asia to establish and strengthen regional public goods.
Trade facilitation programmes between countries in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation region have boosted intraregional trade, supporting economic growth, adds the report. Growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific can be a buffer for the region against uncertainties in the global economy, the report says. (IANS)