Asia and the Pacific is leading a recovery in world trade amid the continued uncertainty surrounding the global trade policy environment.
This year’s Asian Economic Integration Report introduces a new composite index to gauge the progress of regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in Asia and the Pacific. RCI plays an important role in supporting economic growth and poverty reduction, and has been high on the development agenda for many Asian economies in recent years. Supporting RCI is one of ADB’s key strategic priorities for development assistance in the region. An index that calibrates the status of RCI can be a useful policy tool for assessing the progress of RCI efforts especially by various subregional initiatives.
In 2016, Asia’s trade (by volume) grew faster than global trade, but remained below its economic growth. Asia’s trade growth picked up to 1.7% in 2016 from 1.4% in 2015, while the world trade growth decelerated to 1.3% from 2.6%. Ongoing global economic recovery lifted demand for the region’s exports, particularly from Japan; Taipei, China; Hong Kong, China; and Viet Nam.
- Asian financial markets have become more interconnected—both globally and intra-regionally.
- Asia's remittances dropped to $259 billion in 2016 from $269 billion in 2015—the largest drop since 2009.
- Growing financial interconnectedness can increase vulnerabilities to external shocks and liquidity risks.
The Era of Financial Interconnectedness—How Can Asia Strengthen Financial Resilience?
This year’s special theme chapter, “The Era of Financial Interconnectedness: How Can Asia Strengthen Financial Resilience?” examines the region’s ability to absorb financial shocks and avoid instability. The report introduces an RCI composite index to help monitor and evaluate RCI progress in the region. The Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index combines six RCI components: trade and investment, money and finance, regional value chains, infrastructure connectivity, movement of people, and institutional and social integration.
The Asian Economic Integration Report 2017 is the annual report on Asia’s progress in regional cooperation and integration (RCI) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It covers ADB’s 48 regional members and analyzes regional and global economic linkages.