The chapter Connectivity Plans for Asia and Europe: Public Goods and Collective Growth by Frans-Paul van der Putten, coordinator of the Clingendael China Centre, and Anita Prakash - senior policy advisor at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), has been published prior to the 13th Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit. It's part of the book Multilateral Cooperation for a Resilient, Sustainable and Rules-Based Future for ASEM.
Regional connectivity is on the rise worldwide. Asia, Africa, Europe – and the other continents – are becoming increasingly interlinked through pan-regional initiatives. Asia is the trailblazer in this regard, and most connectivity plans have Asia at its core. Asia is also the centre of pan-regional connectivity initiatives. The Masterplan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Asia–Africa Growth Corridor, and Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) – all connectivity plans – aim to deepen Asia’s economic dynamism and extend it to trans-regional partners. Mega-regional integration initiatives such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership are also integral to this region.
The need for strengthened connectivity between Asia and Europe has been recognised by ASEM since the 10th ASEM Summit in 2014 in Italy. ASEM is a collective effort towards addressing the demands of greater connectivity amongst the geographies, economies, and peoples of Asia and Europe. At the 10th ASEM Summit in 2014 in Italy, ‘Leaders underscored the significance of connectivity between the two regions to economic prosperity and sustainable development’ (ASEM, 2014: para. 7). The 11th ASEM Summit in 2016 in Ulaanbaatar agreed to make ASEM responsive to emerging demands and the need for connectivity, and to this end established the ASEM Pathfinders Group on Connectivity (APGC).
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