Seminar: Connecting Asia: Infrastructure for Integrating South Asia and Southeast Asia
About the Seminar
As the global and Asian economy adjusts to the “new normal” of a slowing Peoples Republic of China, regional cooperation and integration involving South Asia and Southeast Asia can play an influential role in fostering Asia’s development. In late 2015 ASEAN announced the launch of the ASEAN Community and ASEAN’s Vision beyond 2015 creating a potential market of more than 600 million people. Myanmar has recently opened up through political reforms. South Asia and Southeast Asia contain some of the world’s fastest growing economies. in 2014-2015 Prime Minister Modi’s government unleashed new economic reforms and an Act East Policy. A Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – involving India and East Asian economies – is under negotiation. These two critical Asian sub-regions are on the right pathway but many challenges remain towards greater regional cooperation and integration. Trade and investment integration between the two sub-regions is relatively limited and is hampered by problems in infrastructure, infrastructure finance, residual barriers to trade and FDI and institutions. Many strategic and political barriers and risks also prevail in South Asia as well as Southeast Asia.
This seminar explores the potential for South Asia-Southeast Asia regional integration in the new economic environment with a focus on regional connectivity, associated policies and institutions and political economy issues. It presents the findings of a 2016 book Connecting Asia: Infrastructure for Integrating South Asia and Southeast Asiaedited by Michael Plummer, Peter Morgan and Ganeshan Wignaraja. The book contains an important contribution on implementation challenges and coordination arrangements by Moe Thuzar and Francis Hutchinson and their co-authors.
About the Speakers
Ganeshan Wignaraja, Advisor, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank
Mike Plummer (via videolink), Director SAIS Europe and Eni Professor of International Economics, SAIS Johns Hopkins University
Moe Thuzar, Lead Researcher, Socio Cultural Affairs, Lead Researcher, Economic Affairs, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute