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.




The countries of Asia and the Pacific have worked steadily to enhance regional cooperation and integration over several decades to unlock the benefits of shared prosperity, stability and sustainability. Yet, progress has been uneven and the region’s overall integration is still at a formative stage. East Asia is the most integrated, South-East Asia ranks second, followed by South Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific. There is still great potential to further cooperation and deepen integration across the region.


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