What is Economic Corridor Development and What Can It Achieve in Asia’s Subregions?

Economic corridors connect economic agents along a defined geography. They provide important connections between economic nodes or hubs that are usually centered in urban landscapes. They do not stand alone, as their role in regional economic development can be comprehended only in terms of the network effects that they induce. As the case studies in this paper show, there is no standard picture of what economic corridor development is and what it can achieve. What economic corridors can achieve for regional economic integration depends first on what characteristics the specific existing economic networks in which the economic corridors are embedded personify, and second on which characteristics corridor development are intended to introduce or strengthen. Corridor characteristics interact dynamically to create patterns of regional economic development. Models that make this interaction explicit have combined elements of the New Economic Geography (nonlinear and General Equilibrium elements). The Asian Development Bank has a significant stake in the successful application of corridor development approaches with an annual investment of $2 billion or more in regional cooperation and integration.

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