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Integration is a long-term goal that the region’s policymakers should pursue, for the sake of all Asians. The section below presents various pan-Asian and subregional infrastructure initiatives in Asia. The institutional and policy aspects of these initiatives are further examined in Chapter 4. 4. Overview of Asia’s Regional Infrastructure Initiatives Regional cooperation can take various forms, including intergovernmental dialogue, information exchange, the common provision of regional public goods, and regional institution building (ADB 2008b).
Singapore was the world’s busiest port in 2007, narrowly ahead of Shanghai. The ports of the PRC, together with those of Hong Kong, China and Taipei,China, accounted for more than 28% of world container port throughput in 2007. Tanjung Pelepas, established in Malaysia in 2001, has already surpassed New York despite its proximity to Singapore (UNCTAD 2008). The PRC’s current (2006–2010) fiveyear plan aims to increase port throughput volume by at least 80% and container throughput volume by 70%. Air transport is soaring in much of Asia.
R The benefits of regional infrastructure spill over across borders due to large network and agglomeration effects. Countries therefore need to coordinate their infrastructure plans and infrastructure-related policies, for instance, by streamlining and harmonizing customs procedures, in order to harness those benefits. r Participating countries need to address the asymmetric distribution of projects’ costs and benefits across countries so as to ensure “win-win” outcomes among them. r Countries need to act together to tackle the negative socioeconomic spillovers of regional infrastructure projects—such as environmental damage, displaced people, traffic accidents, and human and drug trafficking—that cut across national borders.
Infrastructure for a Seamless Asia by ADBI