ADB training program to understand challenges in economic corridor development

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The programs will have two distinct and independent modules.
Photo: TBDG

The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have been promoting regional cooperation and integration (RCI) among their developing member countries (DMCs) to assist them in reaping benefits, mitigating risks, and maximizing opportunities brought about by globalization. ADB is organizing a training program on 9 – 11 July 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

RCI initiatives are typically driven by investments in regional infrastructure, which also provides a platform for cooperation across member countries in areas of mutual interest.

ADB supports subregional cooperation programs (SCPs) in Asia and the Pacific. In Southeast Asia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), three main SCPs are supported—the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

The SCPs have adopted strategic frameworks and long-term plans to guide their economic development process. The SCPs have also developed sector strategies for various modes of transport, which revolve around geographic spaces or economic corridors. Subregional strategies and priority actions for road, rail, maritime, and air transport converge in the subregional economic corridors.

The SCPs have adopted the economic corridor development (ECD) approach although at various stages of development and progress. The ECD approach aims to develop a highly efficient transport system that allows goods and people to move around the subregion without excessive cost or delay. This is expected to translate to further economic growth and regional development, and thus help reduce poverty.

The development of economic corridors has proven to be a holistic strategy, which improves the quality and reach of intraregional infrastructure, benefiting both the subregion and the individual economies in it. A common long-term challenge across SCPs is the need to transform “transport corridors” into “full-fledged economic corridors.” SCPs must also align with ASEAN in developing regulatory frameworks and standards for integrated multi-modal transportation systems.

Knowledge and experience sharing on economic corridors in the subregions could add great value to government officials involved in RCI since there is yet no standard definition of economic corridors and no “one-size-fits-all” model.

As a knowledge center supporting ADB DMCs and in partnership with ADB and the BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Center, ADBI aims to promote information exchange that could lead to refinements of initial ECD approaches adopted by the SCPs, and help collaboratively explore and generate common concepts, characteristics, and principles that can guide ECD across SCPs.

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