Asian Economic Integration Report 2015

How Can Special Economic Zones Catalyze Economic Development?

The Asian Economic Integration Report 2015 examines current trends in trade, finance, migration, remittances and other economic activities in the region, with a special chapter on the role of special economic zones (SEZs). If done right, SEZs can become drivers for increased trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), and better economic policymaking and reforms. Moreover, as countries develop, areas with SEZs can be transformed from mere manufacturing sites, to become hubs for innovation and modern services.
more about the AEIR

Following the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis and the contagion evident around the region, ADB was asked to use its knowledge-based expertise to help monitor the recovery and report objectively on potential vulnerabilities and policy solutions. With the ASEAN+3 process just starting, ADB provided technical assistance beginning in 1999—to create the Asia Recovery Information Center, the precursor to today’s Asia Regional Integration Center, or ARIC. ADB’s early Asia Recovery Reports became the Asian Economic Monitor in 2001, once the recovery was well-entrenched. And—following the 2008/09 global financial crisis—it in turn evolved into the semiannual Asian Economic Integration Monitor in 2012, covering the 48 regional members of the ADB.

Today's Asian Economic Integration Report (AEIR) is an annual report that combines all this experience in monitoring and analyzing critical issues that affect the region’s economies and progress of economic integration. With the ever-changing economic environment, there is a need to closely monitor and analyze Asian economic interdependence both globally and regionally. The main purpose of the AEIR is to offer useful information supported by thorough analysis on how the region’s integration within itself and globally is progressing—and what the challenges and opportunities are in trade, finance, people mobility and trade policy.
close info

  • ADB launched the Asian Economic Integration Report (AEIR) 2015 at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 8 December 2015. ADB’s Chief Economist Shang-Jin Wei delivered the opening remarks, while ERCI Principal Economist Jong Woo Kang presented the key findings of the Report.

    The Asian Economic Integration Report (AEIR) is an annual review of Asia’s regional economic cooperation and integration. This latest issue includes a special chapter, How Can Special Economic Zones Catalyze Economic Development?

  • “Asia’s income elasticity of trade declined from 2.69 before the global financial crisis (GFC) to 1.30 afterwards...”
  • “Regional trade blocs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership could faciliate freer trade if supported through open, flexible accession.”
  • “Asia’s outward FDI increased faster than inward FDI—growing 45.3% in 2014 compared with 2010 led by both the region’s high income and emerging market economies.”
  • “Economies that rely heavily on remittances for income also tend to experience high volatility in remittance inflows. These economies should continue to pursue industrialization and economic diversification to make their economies more resilient and provide more domestic job opportunities.”
  • “Effective SEZs must be an integral part of dynamic national development strategies and evolve as economies develop by transforming from manufacturing bases to technological platforms for innovation and modern services.”

Cover and Highlights

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Progress in Regional Cooperation and Integration

  • Asian Economies under Changing Global Environment
  • Updates on Trade and Investment Integration
  • Updates on Financial Integration
  • Updates on Movement of People
  • Updates on Trade Policy
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Special Chapter: How Can Special Economic Zones Catalyze Economic Development?

  • The Rise of the Zones: Origin, Objectives, and Diffusion
  • Varieties of Zones: Modalities, Ownership and Evolution
  • Success Outcomes and Drivers of SEZ Performance
  • Development Strategy and Institutions
  • Economic Impact of SEZs
  • Learning from Experience: Preconditions and Policies
  • The Future of Zones
  • Annex A: Methodology for Coding Data for Regressions
  • Annex B: Country Case Studies
  • References
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Statistical Appendix

  • Regional Integration IndicatorsAsia
  • Trade ShareAsia
  • FTA StatusAsia
  • Time to Export and ImportAsia
  • Logistics Performance IndexAsia
  • Cross-Border Equity Holdings ShareAsia
  • Cross-Border Bond Holdings ShareAsia
  • FDI Inflow ShareAsia
  • Remittance Inflows ShareAsia
  • Outbound Migration ShareAsia
  • Outbound Tourism ShareAsia
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