Any contemporary story on development in Asia-Pacific begins with reflection on massive gains achieved in the fight against poverty. The incidence of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 54.5% in 1990 to 20.7% in 2010, with the number of extreme poor declining from 1.48 billion to 733 million. This precipitous decline in poverty incidence has been accompanied by tremendous gains in access to health and education.
As articulated by Cavoli, Rajan, and Siregar (2004) in their survey of East Asian financial integration, financial integration is a multidimensional process closely associated with development of financial markets.
Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) has played an important role in Asia’s growth and development, and will have to play a role in managing the consequences of this ascendancy going forward.
With Asia’s continuing rise and growing impact on the global economy, regional cooperation and integration (RCI) is expanding, bringing with it both benefits and costs. To sustain region-wide economic growth, an integrated market for the free flow of trade and investment across the region is necessary.
Later this month, the leaders of five major emerging economies—some say they have already emerged— are likely to announce the establishment of a BRICS Bank. These countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. As the name suggests, the Bank will focus on investment needs in the BRICS countries, but might cover some other countries as well.
I have a straight answer and a caveat. The answer is: Definitely Not. The caveat is: integration is a long-term process. Over time, Asia definitely needs to become more integrated in order to sustain its growth as well as its contribution to global growth. In the medium-term, Asia should exert concerted efforts to continuously boost regional cooperation.