For South Asia, there is a demographic dividend, reflected in the highest projected growth rates in the Asia-Pacific. However, many countries will still need economic reform and private investment in order to grow. Lack of regional cooperation remains a major barrier to cross-border opportunities.

The economic picture for South East Asia, on the other hand, is mixed. Foreign direct investment is strong with ongoing liberalization and free trade initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) while new economic actors like Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia are increasingly positioning themselves as open markets while expanding their own outbound investments.

The Asia-Pacific programme analyses key trade, investment and economic challenges and opportunities across the region in order to provide evidence-based policy analysis and recommendations.