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.
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.
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.