The Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index (ARCII) is a broad-based, multidimensional measure of regional integration. It was initially developed in 2017 and its methodology and applications gradually expanded. The composite index measures progress on a set of relevant dimensions of regional integration, and identifies strengths and weaknesses within regional, subregional, and national contexts.
In 2017, Huh and Park conceptualized and implemented a six-dimensional framework with 26 indicators to construct a composite index that measures different aspects of regional integration. The main objective of producing the metric was to help countries better gauge the level of regional integration.
Out of the 26 indicators, 24 are bilateral data expressed as a country’s regional activity relative to its global activity. The ARCII, therefore, uses the most comprehensive bilateral set of available indicators of regional integration. The index covers Asian Development Bank (ADB) member countries in Asia, which include 46 developing member economies along with Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Enhanced ARCII Framework
The baseline index structure was strengthened to accommodate new approaches to the measurement of regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in Asia. The six-dimensional baseline framework is further improved with the addition of two new dimensions: (1) technology and digital connectivity, and (2) environmental cooperation.
To ensure that the ARCII dimensions adequately capture the underlying regional cooperation and integration dynamics, new indicators were also incorporated into existing dimensions. The enhanced system includes 42 indicators, and each dimension has either 5 or 6 indicators.