Principal Regional Cooperation Specialist, Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit, Central and West Asia Department,
Regional Cooperation Specialist, Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit, Central and West Asia Department
Head, GMS Secretariat, Principal Regional Cooperation Specialist, Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit, Southeast Asia Department
Principal Regional Cooperation Specialist, Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit, Southeast Asia Department
Principal Economist, Public Sector Management and Governance Sector Office (focal point until December 2023)
Investment Specialist and Trade Finance Relationship Manager, Private Sector Financial Institutions Division
Economist (Regional Cooperation), Regional Cooperation and Integration and Trade Division, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Department
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a multilateral development bank, which envisions a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and Pacific region, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members, 49 from the region.
ADB assists its members and partners by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
ADB maximizes the development impact of its assistance by facilitating policy dialogues, providing advisory services, and mobilizing financial resources through cofinancing operations that tap official, commercial, and export credit sources.
ADB considers trade facilitation crucial to helping expand trade opportunities for developing member countries. ADB’s support for trade facilitation spans many areas, including customs modernization, border facilities improvement, e-commerce and digital trade facilitation, logistics, trade facilitation performance monitoring and assessment, trade finance, implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement and other free trade agreements, and knowledge and capacity building, among others.
ADB supports national, subregional, and regional trade facilitation. The primary channels for trade facilitation investments and technical assistance projects are its subregional programs: the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Program, and the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program. All include trade facilitation as a core element.
- Under the CAREC 2030, the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030 includes assistance for WTO accession and post-accession, implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and sanitary and phytosanitary agreements under the WTO, deepened customs cooperation, and acceleration of digital trade.
- The GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 mandates the GMS Program to continue its efforts to expedite trade and investment in the subregion and beyond.
- Trade facilitation is a strategic objective of the SASEC Operational Plan 2016–2025
Innovative non-sovereign programs implemented by ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department help strengthen trade facilitation. The Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program (TSCFP) aims to close market gaps in finance through guarantees, loans, and knowledge products. With the International Chamber of Commerce and the Government of Singapore, TSCFP initiated the Digital Standards Initiative, which aims to drive interoperability among exporters, shippers, ports, customs, warehousing, and importers. TSCFP supports the adoption of the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records or equivalent legislation.
Knowledge and data work on trade facilitation is led by the Regional Cooperation and Integration Division (ERCI) of the Economic Research and Development Impact Department. ERCI’s research covers supply chain and trade facilitation; trade finance; Aid for Trade; regional trade agreements, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership; and digital services trade, digital agreements, and e-commerce. ERCI regularly collaborates with development partners on joint knowledge products. As the focal point for the WTO Committee on Trade and Development (CTD) on Aid for Trade, it ensures the proper alignment of research priorities between developing member countries’ needs and the WTO work program through regular consultations, updates, and collaboration. ERCI’s major knowledge products include the annual Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific, an initiative led by WTO; and the annual Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum, jointly organized with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
The Regional Cooperation and Integration (RCI) and Trade Division of the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Department and the interdepartmental RCI and Trade Thematic Committee coordinate ADB’s support for RCI. In 2021, the interdepartmental Trade Facilitation Subgroup was created within the committee to ease knowledge sharing, augment support for operations, expand coordination and advocacy, and develop trade facilitation strategies and frameworks on trade facilitation-related matters.
Dedicated financing for RCI is provided under the Regional Cooperation and Integration Financing Partnership Facility and the Asian Development Fund (ADF) thematic pool. The facility was established in 2007 to mobilize cofinancing and to support untied grants for advisory, project preparatory, and regional technical assistance. The ADF thematic pool provides grant funding for investment projects to foster RCI in concession-eligible developing member countries.