A police officer of immigration inspection checkpoint checks a truck at Dongxing port in Dongxing, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Jan 8, 2022. (CAO YIMING / XINHUA)
MANILA – Trade among economies in the Asia-Pacific rose to the highest level in three decades, bolstering the region's economic resilience amid the pandemic even as mobility restrictions and supply-chain disruptions hampered global trade, the Asian Development Bank said in report on Wednesday.
The strong intraregional trade, along with the release of pent-up global demand and early economic recovery in China, underpinned the region's economic resilience, according to the Asian Economic Integration Report 2022.
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Asia and the Pacific's trade grew by 29.6 percent in the first three quarters of 2021. Trade within the region rebounded by 31.2 percent during the same period, following a 3.1-percent contraction in 2020, the report said.
The pandemic has caused visible economic damage and reversed many of the region's hard-won gains in reducing poverty.
Albert Park, Chief economist, ADB
Also, measures to further promote trade and investment across borders, such as the newly-launched Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement, can help advance regional trade and economic integration and pave the way for a sustainable recovery from the pandemic, said the report.
Albert Park, ADB’s chief economist, said the strengthening trade and value chain linkages among economies in the Asia-Pacific are an encouraging sign for a resilient recovery from COVID-19.
"The pandemic has caused visible economic damage and reversed many of the region's hard-won gains in reducing poverty," he said.
He stressed the need to build on the achievements of regional integration and cooperation to support a return to inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
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The report added that integration among economies in the Asia-Pacific has continued to deepen in areas including new technology and digital connectivity, environmental cooperation, trade linkages, investment, and value chain participation.