International and Regional Cooperation: Asia's Role and Responsibilities

Author: 
Peter Drysdale
Shiro Armstrong
Description: 
EABER Working Paper no. 62
JEL codes: 
Abstract: 
Asia has emerged from the global financial crisis as an important stabilizing force and engine of global economic growth. The establishment of the G20 gives Asian economies the global forum that they have needed to both represent their interests in global governance and to deliver on responsibilities concomitant with their growing weight in the global economy. The region has a host of cooperation arrangements in APEC, ASEAN+3 and EAS, all with ASEAN as the fulcrum. They are huge assets but they need to be re-positioned to relate effectively to the G20 process and other global arrangements. They also need to comprehend the politics of the changing structure of regional power. This paper discusses the challenges that Asia faces in aligning regional and global objectives in financial, trade and other areas of cooperation, such as on climate change and on foreign investment. It argues that Asia is now a critical player in the global system and has a central contribution to make in strengthening global governance and international policy outcomes. Currently, there is a disconnect between the regional cooperation and the global agenda. The paper sets out ways to address this problem through filling gaps in regional cooperation and linking the agenda for regional cooperation more effectively to Asia's new role globally. That is essential to sustain Asia's superior growth performance, correct imbalances and support the global economic system.