New study outlines potential for greater trade, investment and cooperation between the two dynamic regions.
Fast-growing trade and investment between the Asia-Pacific area and Latin America and the Caribbean have transformed the two regions into powerful motors for the world economy, with two-way trade hitting $442 billion last year. The time is right to deepen cooperation so as to ensure future growth and prosperity, according to a new study.
The report, “Shaping the Future of the Asia-Latin America and Caribbean Relationship,” was jointly written by researchers from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Asian Development Bank’s ADB Institute. It was released May 5 at the ADB’s Annual Meeting in Manila, Philippines.
Trade between Latin America and Asia has been marked by a commodities-for-manufacturing pattern. While this is likely to persist, the study makes specific recommendations for both regions to better enjoy the benefits of this scenario. For instance, Latin America and the Caribbean could learn from Asia on how to better invest in human capital, research and innovation. Asia could use Latin American experiences in dealing with rapid urbanization, social policies and agriculture development. And governments on both sides of the Pacific can work to lower trade barriers and increase the scope of current and future free trade agreements, the study finds.
IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno attended the ADB meeting for the first time, to mark the growing importance of economic relations between the two dynamic regions. In March, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda attended the IDB’s Annual Meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay.