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Enhancing Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific

image of Enhancing Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific

It is argued that to further the development and the deepening of regional economic cooperation and integration (RECI) in the Asia-Pacific region can offer solutions to emerging challenges, such as quelling protectionist tendencies, mitigating rising inequalities, and addressing environmental degradation. Through enhancing regional connectivity for energy, transport and information and communications technology (ICT), and promoting regional cooperation in trade, financing and shared vulnerabilities, RECI offers enormous potential in generating trade, growth and employment, improving social outcomes and managing environmental risks and shared vulnerabilities. This presents the possibility to develop RECI as a critical enabler of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

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Conclusions

The analysis in this report provided an in-depth background of regional economic cooperation and integration (RECI) in Asia and the Pacific and outlined the context, challenges and recommendations for its four constituent elements: (a) moving towards the formation of an integrated market; (b) development of seamless connectivity in the region; (c) enhancing financial cooperation; and (d) increasing economic cooperation to address shared vulnerabilities and risks. The main recommendations in each of these areas are summarized in this chapter, which concludes with an assessment of the next steps required to enhance regional economic cooperation and integration across the region.

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