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.


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.

8 August 2023 (Tuesday), 10:00–11:30 (Manila time, GMT+8) (Manila)


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.


Managing the Development of Digital Marketplaces in Asia

Digital platforms have become prominent intermediaries or marketplaces that allow the exchange of goods and services or information among participants, on the back of broadening digitalization. They have opened new transaction channels and ways to utilize resources while lowering the service cost and enhancing market efficiency. Yet they also entail risks. This 27th edition of RCI-POD webinar discussed the key messages, findings, and policy considerations from the edited book volume on Managing the Development of Digital Marketplaces in Asia. A panel of experts discussed topics on measuring the digital platform economy, the digital divide, and promoting competition in the digital platform economy in Asia.


Implementation Challenges of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

RCEP is expected to address the multitudes of rules of origin that have proliferated in the Asian and Pacific region. At the same time, compared to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and other regional agreements, RCEP does not provide for strong disciplines in new areas and has been qualified as a “shallow” agreement. This webinar shed light on the foundations of these apparently contradictory statements to conciliate expectations through an analysis of RCEP commitments and built-in agenda. It discussed the commitments undertaken in RCEP in the regulatory and behind-the-border measures, and examined the classic elements of a free trade agreement (tariff concessions and rules of origin).

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