Stronger Regional Cooperation Can Help Asia, and The Pacific Recovers From COVID-19

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 (Bernama) — Stronger regional cooperation strategies can help governments in Asia and the Pacific accelerate economic growth and robust recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

ADB vice-president for knowledge management and sustainable development Bambang Susantono said regional cooperation and integration has been an effective driver for strong economic growth and a sharp reduction in poverty.

“However, the COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call to all of us that our usual assumptions and approaches to regional cooperation and integration have to change in ways that promote resilience and sustainability,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

ADB has released a new book titled “Future of Regional Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific” which provides insights and a foundation for deeper and more effective regional cooperation for a world reshaped by the pandemic.

Susantono also highlighted the need for Asia and the Pacific to reassess its regional cooperation and integration strategies and pathways.

“This book provides a critical examination of regional cooperation initiatives and explores opportunities for economies in the region to work together to recover and rebuild from the pandemic.

“It examines approaches to strengthen regional trade and investment; improve intraregional infrastructure and connectivity; reduce financial risk; coordinate health systems and approaches; and enhance coordination on cross-border issues such as climate change and ocean health,” he added.

Regional cooperation and integration is among the operational priorities in ADB’s Strategy 2030, and focuses on four pillars: infrastructure connectivity; regional public goods; regional trade and investment; and financial cooperation.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 68 members, of which 49 are from the region.