The Asia Pacific region has been an important contributor to the growth of the world economy, trade, finance and capital flows. It has seen much market-driven economic integration over the years, accompanied by the establishment and continuous development of well-known regional institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and associated research organisations such as the Asian Development Bank Institute, ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office and the recent implementation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation.
China’s economic rise over the past several decades has been instrumental in building up the present regional structure. Since 2013, the “One Belt and One Road” national strategy, establishing a series of economic connections along the old Silk Road as well as a 21st century maritime version of it, has been proposed. China has established a “Silk Road” fund to finance infrastructure projects along the land-based and maritime Silk Roads, followed by the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Beijing-based multilateral financial institution designed to finance infrastructure capabilities in the region.
There is an ever-growing need for good research work in independent think tanks and academia that can explain the integration of the Asia Pacific economy and particularly the China market.
The main focus of the institute is economic integration. It examines, but not limited to, subjects such as trade, investment, business strategies, international operations, corporate and public governance, exchange rates, financial inclusion, economic and social sustainability, economic growth, industrial agglomeration, and environmental protection.
China plays a key role in the region’s economic integration. Understanding and capturing the linkages and interactions among spatial units (provinces, cities or counties) within the Chinese economy is key to understanding the processes of integration. There are two obvious drivers and factors in this integration that have played a crucial but sometimes hidden role, especially in their interaction: one is the role of the state as economic actor, the other is the role of the market in driving trade and investment.
The institute also organises an annual international seminar on Asia and Pacific economies.