Seminar on “Regional Cooperation and Integration in Asia: New Pathways for South Asia” by Mr. Rajat Nag, Managing Director General, Asian Development Bank, Manila, on 29 August 2013, Thursday, at 3:00 pm in the Conference Room, CPR. Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Senior Fellow at the Centre has kindly agreed to Chair the seminar and also present his views on the topic.
It is predicted that Asia has the potential to dominate the global economy, with the region’s economic output soaring from $17 trillion, currently just 28% of global GDP, to $174 trillion by 2050, making up over half of global GDP. India and ASEAN are predicted to account for 32% of Asia’s total output. Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) plays a critical role in achieving this growth. The promise of the “Asian Century” is contingent on the countries and subregions of Asia working together to cement the region’s gains in the face of vulnerabilities to global shocks. There is a need to effectively harness the gains from the so-called “garlanding” of various RCI initiatives, wherein the benefits of increased connectivity, trade supply chain links, and overall economic integration are further expanded. Building and opening local markets will provide the means for countries in South Asia to move up the value chain. Synergies will also be generated by joint efforts in developing new technology, harnessing clean and secure energy, and preparing for disasters, which will contribute to long term political and economic stability. The peace dividend generated further strengthens the economic benefits from RCI. In this context, the speaker will discuss challenges, potential, policy options, and the role of multilateral players as honest brokers.
About the Speaker:
Mr. Rajat M. Nag is the Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He has been with the institution for more than two decades and assumed his current position in December 2006. With broad experience across Asia, Mr. Nag plays a critical role in providing strategic and operational direction to ADB, so that it achieves its mission of helping its developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people. Mr. Nag’s work has given him wide-ranging insight into several issues and challenges relevant to Asia, including risk management, infrastructure financing, public-private partnerships and regional economic integration. His particular interest is in working to enhance regional cooperation and integration in Asia and bridge the gap between the region’s thriving economies and the millions of poor people being left behind.
Mr. Nag has held several top positions in ADB. Prior to his current post, he was head of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department and Special Advisor to the President on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration. He began his professional career at the Bank of Canada and held senior positions in a leading international consulting firm before joining ADB. He holds engineering degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). He also obtained Masters degrees in Business Administration from the University of Saskatchewan and in Economics from The London School of Economics.