Asian Economic Integration Report 2016

Publication | December 2016
Asian Economic Integration Report 2016

With the continued anemic global economic recovery, trade growth in Asia and the Pacific decelerated in 2015, falling further behind growth in gross domestic product.

Asia’s trade growth by volume decelerated to 2.3% in 2015, below the 2.7% growth in global trade, and falling further below the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.3%. Developing Asia’s exports grew 3.0% in 2015, on par with advanced economies. But imports grew a meager 1.7% compared with 4.5% in advanced economies.

Financial integration continues to increase gradually in the region but lags far behind trade integration. With greater financial openness, Asia’s cross- border portfolio investment and bank claims increased from $3.0 trillion in 2001 to $11.0 trillion in 2015. However, Asia’s share in global cross-border portfolio investment and bank claims remained a modest 16.2% in 2015, slightly up from 14.1% in 2001.

Migration from Asia increased between 2010 and 2015—although the increase was directed more to outside Asia than within the region. Asia and the Pacific is the largest source of international migrants (83.3 million), accounting for more than a third of the 243.7 million migrants worldwide as of 2015.

What Drives Foreign Direct Investment in Asia and the Pacific?

This issue of the Asian Economic Integration Report includes a special theme chapter on the factors behind the growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Asia and the Pacific, as well as the related policy implications. Greater trade openness and FDI can strengthen the region’s resilience to slow global growth, but countries need to improve their institutional quality, business environment and policy effectiveness to encourage FDI. Asia and the Pacific attracts almost a third of total global FDI, among which more than half is now intraregional, driven by the expansion of global and regional value chains. Greater trade openness through more regional trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties can also increase FDI.

About the publication

The Asian Economic Integration Report reviews the progress of Asian governments’ efforts to integrate their economies and improve cooperation on a variety of levels. The Asian Economic Integration Report is produced annually, and continues the work of the Asian Economic Integration Monitor starting 2015.