This chapter investigates regional development of transport connectivity and integration in Asia, recognizing the challenges, and making a case for taking measures to accelerate connectivity for the promotion of shared prosperity. Regional connectivity ought to integrate both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ aspects of infrastructure to offer the most cost- and time-effective multimodal systems. The chapter acknowledges that connectivity is a ‘means to an end’. It highlights the impact of connectivity on trade, greater prosperity and the importance of regional cooperation and integration. It examines recent economic trends that influence connectivity, the analysis of trade and transport movements and developments in the context of freight transport intensity in Asia and its subregions. The chapter finally looks at the implications for regional transport networks and forecasts for the future and recommends that Asia should take a multi-faceted approach to integrate different regional networks within transport and utilize comparative advantages of identified benefits of connectivity.
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