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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is planning to implement carbon pricing mechanism – a policy tool to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

This has been stated in a report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) titled, “Asian Economic Integration Report 2024, Decarbonizing Global Value Chains.” The report noted that establishing a carbon pricing mechanism is one of many important policy tools to lower greenhouse gas emissions. In Asia, economies have started instituting their carbon pricing mechanisms, though much work is still to be done. As of April 2023, two carbon taxes (Japan and Singapore) and five economy-level emissions trading system (Indonesia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, the PRC, and the Republic of Korea) are in operation, and several economies (Brunei Darussalam, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam) are planning to implement them.

Some Asian economies (such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand) are among the top 10 economies exposed to long-term climate risk, while Asia accounted for more than half of all multi-hazard global average annual losses for 2000– 2022.

ADB initiates country portfolio review

The bank stated that five trade agreements including at least one Asian economy entered into force in 2023. The Indonesia–Republic of Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) took effect two years after it was signed in December 2020. Indonesia also signed an agreement with Iran, its second bilateral agreement in the Middle East after the Indonesia– United Arab Emirates CEPA, which entered into force in July 2022. Uzbekistan enforced separate bilateral agreements with Pakistan and Turkiye, in a move to expand its trade partnerships outside Central Asia.

The report noted that migration outflows from Asia and the Pacific have been recovering after the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. The pandemic saw a sharp dip in migrant outflows from major migrant source economies in Asia in 2020. Migrant workers from the region’s top 10 sending economies account for 70.1 percent (65.2 million) of the 93 million Asian migrants across the world.

However, post-2020 figures indicate that the trend in migrant flows from traditional sending economies are recovering, but to varying degrees. Outflows in 2022 have recovered from the pre-pandemic flows in 2019 for Bangladesh (162.2 percent), India (101.5 percent), Pakistan (133.0 percent), and Sri Lanka (147.8 percent). Outflows from Indonesia and the Philippines have risen but remain below the pre-pandemic level.

The report noted that Pakistan’s Logistics and Freight Policy—aims to enhance the domestic and international supply chains through seamless integration of logistics through road, rail, marine, inland waterways, and aviation.

The report noted that regional integration has grown steadily since the mid-2000s with variations across dimensions and subregions. Based on the Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index (ARCII), the region shows integration comparable to the European Union (EU) in regional value chains, along with people and social integration. The most significant progress is observed in Asia and the Pacific’s technology and digital connectivity dimension, driven by adoption of digital transformation policies by many economies, the pace of which went up during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. However, integration in trade and investment has slowed somewhat since 2019.

While intra-subregional integration grew faster than inter-subregional integration in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Central Asia, South Asia showed deeper integration with other sub-regions within Asia as of 2021. Regional integration has become a crucial buffer against global shocks and helps mitigate their negative effects. While rising protectionism and the risks of global fragmentation compound economic challenges, increased cooperation and investment in connectivity—both “soft” (regulatory) and “hard” infrastructure—can strengthen economic resilience and provide mutual benefits. Closer dialogue and discussion on regional policies will help Asian economies better meet the challenges and risks of supply chain vulnerability and climate change.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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