Asian economic integration offers a new platform for growth: ADB

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Singapore, Jul 10 (UNI) Increasing integration among Asian economies offers a new platform to promote growth, strengthen trade links, and reduce poverty, said the Manila-based Asian Development Bank today.

''This is good not only for Asia, but also for the US and the rest of the world,'' according to a new ADB study.

The study, entitled 'Emerging Asian Regionalism: A Partnership for Shared Prosperity', suggests that while Asian economic integration is market-led, to tap the full potential of regional interdependence, Asian economies need to boost their ties through closer dialogue and policy coordination.

''This study is an excellent analysis of Asian regionalism and shows how economic integration and cooperation can help reduce transaction costs and increase efficiency, providing an important platform for poverty reduction in the region,'' said the World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin.

It recommends that to foster financial stability and economic prosperity, Asian authorities also need to enhance regional macro economic surveillance and work toward the creation of new regional institutions such as an Asian Financial Stability Forum and an Asian Secretariat for Economic Cooperation.

''Economic integration in Asia is becoming increasingly important to global growth and managing shared risks in the region,'' said Jong-Wha Lee, Head of ADB's Office of Regional Economic Integration.

The study highlights that Asia is less integrated in finance than in trade but financial markets are now larger, deeper, and more sophisticated than they were a decade ago.

With the growth of trade and financial ties, Asia's macroeconomic interdependence has also increased, it pointed out.

The region faces a challenging period ahead as global payment imbalances appear increasingly unsustainable, the financial turmoil unfolds and the global economic slowdown deepens.

''The challenge for Asian policy makers is to closely monitor global and regional developments, and to be ready to act together whenever region-wide responses are appropriate,'' the study says.

It also says the region needs to cooperate to make development sustainable by protecting regional health and environment.

UNI XC MP HT1430

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