In quest of a development plan for Asia
By Xiao Geng, Andrew Sheng  |  Nov 30, 2022
In quest of a development plan for Asia
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Can a region as complex and fast-changing as Asia devise and implement a comprehensive development plan? The Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, which just released its third 'Comprehensive Asia Development Plan,' thinks so.

HONG KONG - The Comprehensive Asia Development Plan (CADP) report deserves serious consideration. Drawing on the research and insights of experts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat as well as institutes from 16 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and various East Asian countries, it maps out how Asia can deepen regional economic integration, narrow development gaps, and make more progress in sustainable development.

CADP 3.0 represents a major step forward compared to its predecessors. CADP 1.0, which was released in 2010, focused largely on transport infrastructure, from roads to airports. CADP 2.0, which was released in 2015, recognized that true connectivity - essential to regional integration - also depended on information and communications technology. CADP 3.0 takes these ideas even further, examining the role of digitalization in supporting integration, innovation, inclusiveness, and sustainability.

This sequence mirrors the ‘three unbundlings’ that the economist Richard Baldwin has described, each of which defines a phase of globalization. The first - the separation of production and consumption - occurs when advances in transportation drastically lower the costs of moving goods. The second - the separation of various parts of the production process - arises when information and communications technologies reduce the costs of moving ideas, enabling coordination across any distance.

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