SANTIAGO, Chile - The Inter-American Bank and the Asian Development Bank today launched a joint initiative to enhance the economic, cultural, professional and academic links between Latin America and the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region.
The initiative was undertaken in conjunction with a series of activities preceding the plenary sessions of the IDB’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, to be held here on March 19-21.
More than 200 people today attended a seminar organized by the IDB’s Department of Integration and Regional Programs to explore "New Partnerships for the 21st Century" between the two regions. IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias and Chilean Foreign Minister María Soledad Alvear Valenzuela inaugurated the seminar and speakers and panelists included cabinet ministers and other senior government officials, researchers, academics, and private sector representatives from 15 countries of both Asia and Latin America.
A constant theme of the presentations was the need to increase trade and cultural ties, which was repeatedly described as underachieving.
In an effort to help strengthen the relationship, the IDB, under the auspices of the IDB’s Japan Program, and the ADB launched an initiative to improve ties.
In the framework of the initiative, the manager of the IDB’s Integration and Regional Programs Department, Nohra Rey de Marulanda and Shoji Nishimoto, director of the ADB’s Strategy and Policy Department, signed a partnership agreement today pledging to work together in broad areas to support cooperation and interchange between Asia-Pacific and Latin America in the context of the IDB’s Japan Program.
The focus of the cooperation effort will be directed toward issues such as of regional and subregional development, poverty reduction and good governance, decentralization, competitiveness, and trade promotion, as well as other issues decided upon by the two institutions. The joint activities will include cooperation in areas such as exchange of information and experts, transpacific business networking, and joint studies.
Specifically, the partnership will lead to the creation of the Transpacific Business Network and the Latin American and Caribbean and Asia-Pacific Economics and Business Association.
Transpacific Business Network
The IDB and the ADB will collaborate to plan, organize, and develop the core activities of a Transpacific Business Network, which will support enhanced information exchange, programs, analytical products and teaming initiatives.
The first phase of the program will focus on increasing cross-regional knowledge through expanded access to trade and private sector information about the two regions.
The second phase will center on providing incentives for network building concerning regional markets and opportunities, as well as exchange of experiences and best practices among a critical mass of public and private sectors in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific.
The third phase will concentrate on leveraging networks to establish strategic alliances and partnerships among private sector and other organizations.
New professional association
The IDB and the ADB will cooperate in establishing a new professional association, the Latin American and Caribbean and Asia-Pacific Economics and Business Association (LAEBA).
Its main objective will be to provide a forum for researchers interested in comparative research and studies of both regions, with the objective of expanding the academic networks and exchanging policy ideas with policymakers and the private sector.
LAEBA will be open to members of the academic and research communities in the fields of economics, finance, public policy and business economics.