Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) plays a critical role in accelerating economic growth, reducing poverty and economic disparity, raising productivity and employment, and strengthening institutions. It narrows development gaps between ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs) by building closer trade integration, intraregional supply chains, and stronger financial links, enabling slow-moving economies to speed their own expansion.
With its decades of experience in the region, ADB can serve as a catalyst for RCI, linking national and regional priorities. In South Asia, for example, the size and scattered nature of the region’s hydropower and natural gas resources—and the different sizes of its national economies and associated energy demand levels and rates of growth—suggest immense potential for mutually beneficial integration and trade in energy and energy resources.
ADF has supported various cross-border infrastructures, which helped improve connectivity and raise national as well as household incomes. An increasing number of ADB’s regional projects are also targeted to support the Millennium Development Goals. These include projects aimed at controlling the spread of communicable diseases, promoting sustainable environmental management practices, and generating and sharing knowledge resources. ADF will also address energy security and climate change issues, as well as social and environmental issues resulting from faster growth.
Today, as new trade routes connect landlocked Central Asia with the booming economies of South Asia and the Middle East, Afghanistan's geographic position is proving a valuable asset.
A road between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh marks a milestone in the Greater Mekong Subregion, promoting economic cooperation in a formerly conflict-torn area.