Regional Cooperation and Integration Policy Open Dialogue (RCI-POD) Webinar Series

Organized by ADB’s Regional Cooperation and Integration Division, this webinar series aims to provide a venue for casual and open policy dialogue on RCI issues.


New approaches under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement provide opportunities for linking emission trading schemes (ETS) between jurisdictions. This can be useful for Asia and Pacific economies by increasing the liquidity of a carbon market, offering regulated entities additional abatement opportunities, and reducing the cost of achieving the combined emissions caps of linked ETS. This webinar sought to understand the theoretical underpinnings and practical implementation of ETS linkages in the Asia and Pacific region.

7 December 2023 (Thursday), 10:00–11:30 (Manila time, GMT+8) (Manila)


Overcoming RCEP Implementation and Negotiating Challenges

The webinar aimed to highlight the timely implementation of the RCEP Agreement and the importance of activating the RCEP’s built-in agenda to ensure the effective achievement of RCEP’s goals. Key built-in provisions on trade in goods including rules of origin, trade in services, investment, and electronic commerce were presented and the implementation challenges were discussed. Aware that substantial gains could be further realized if RCEP implementation is joined by an extended and fast-forward ambitious built-in agenda, an extended roadmap was also presented which identifies additional initiatives where the RCEP could bring new benefits with respect to existing and overlapping integration efforts in the region.


Integrated Approach to Trade and Transportation Facilitation

Based on the ADB report, Integrated Approach to Trade and Transport Facilitation, that looked into regional policy documents to identify gaps in discussion of trade and transport facilitation and presented a diagnostic framework for trade readiness at national and sub-national levels, the 32nd edition of the RCI-POD webinar presented its findings, diagnostic framework, and policy recommendations. The webinar also brought together a panel of experts that further shed light on adopting a comprehensive approach to trade and transport facilitation that is technology-driven, and helps provide a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive development outcome.


Driving Inclusive Digitalization in Trade and Trade Finance

While mobility restrictions at the onset of the pandemic induced disruptions in global value chains, it has also served as a catalyst for increased digitalization. International trade contracted in 2020 but has since recovered. Lingering uncertainties from high inflation, tight financial markets, and geopolitical tensions threaten a fragile recovery in trade and economic activity.

This 31st edition of the RCI-POD webinar discussed the actions being taken to address these challenges in making digitalization of global trade and supply chains a reality. Based on the ADB Policy Brief, Driving Inclusive Digitalization in Trade and Trade Finance, this webinar included a panel of experts that shed light on the need for digitalization, the high cost of adoption, the progress of digitalization, and the various international initiatives being taken to adopt common digital standards.


Building Forward Better: Tourism in Post-COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought unprecedented devastation on tourism, upon which economy of many of ADB’s developing member countries heavily depend. On the other hand, tourism in the region is rapidly transforming, with new demands on health and safety protocols. There is now a unique window of opportunity to assess the lessons and put in place reforms that enable tourism to contribute to more green, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development pathways. The webinar shared the findings from ADB's two recent studies on Sustainable Tourism After COVID-19: Insights and Recommendations for Asia and the Pacific and COVID-19 and the Future of Tourism in Asia and the Pacific, reflected on their operational relevance, and discussed operational challenges and opportunities in project context.


Liberalizing Services and Promoting Digital Services: Prospects for Enhancing Trade in CAREC Countries

Economic diversification is a priority of member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program. Such will increase productivity, integrate better into global value chains, and strengthen economic resilience during crises.  The webinar discussed the findings of the ADB report on Developing the Services Sector for Economic Diversification in CAREC Countries, which analyzes CAREC members’ economic structure and potential for diversification through services development. The webinar focused on liberalization, digital services trade, and regional cooperation to facilitate the growth of services in the CAREC region and beyond.  The webinar featured two related publications: Advancing Digital Services in Asia and the Pacific, the theme chapter of the Asian Economic Integration Report 2022, and the OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index 2022: Policy Trends Up to 2022.


Emerging Financial Inclusion Priorities in the COVID-19 Era

The webinar examined key outcomes of the 2021 APFIF report: Emerging Priorities in the COVID-19 Era. This included discussion on financial inclusion priorities for policy makers and regulators to stimulate economic recovery as well as emerging challenges and opportunities associated with financial inclusion as a result of digital transformation.

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