ADBI series on Asian Economic Integration and Cooperation
Edited by Biswa Nath Bhattacharyay, Masahiro Kawai and Rajat M. Nag
This book is inspired by a vision of a seamless Asia-Pacific region – with physical, economic and financial integration and connectivity across borders facilitating the movement of people, goods, services, capital, knowledge and ideas. Infrastructure connectivity has the power to integrate economies by deepening trade, investment, business and financial links. It can expand and strengthen regional production networks and supply chains of goods and services, thereby improving productivity and competitiveness; and stimulate economic activity, trade and investment. Good connecting infrastructure enables countries to benefit from a better allocation of resources and a better provision of basic services. Growth can be made more inclusive if poorer groups and communities, particularly those in remote areas and small and landlocked countries, can share its benefits. Studies in several Asian developing countries have shown that the presence of basic infrastructure such as road transport and electricity are key factors in terms of helping people climb out of poverty. Despite recent progress, the quantity and quality of the region’s infrastructure is generally lower than the global average and has not kept pace with the region’s economic growth. The state of infrastructure is also not uniform across Asia – it varies from country to country and from region to region within a country.