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Friendship and cooperation are key to Asia's economic growth, ADB president says

  • Asia's economic growth in 2018 is projected to continue rising if countries in the region are able to maintain cooperation, according to the president of the Asian Development Bank
  • Integration into the global supply chain allows Asian economies to share comparative advantages

The key to Asian economic growth in 2018 will be greater friendship and cooperation between countries, according to the president of the Asian Development Bank.

One of the reasons behind Asia's success in growth and development is the region's successful fostering of a "sense of cooperation" between countries in Asia, ADB President Takehiko Nakao told CNBC on Monday.

"There can be differences in opinions, but it is important to manage and improve cooperation between countries in Asia," he said.

"ASEAN is now more united and heading towards more market-oriented reform policies," Nakao added, crediting Southeast Asia's economic growth to the growing cooperation between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao at a press conference in New Delhi on June 16, 2015.
Chandran Khanna | AFP | Getty Images
Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao at a press conference in New Delhi on June 16, 2015.

Another key reason behind Asia's economic growth is its integration into the global supply chain. Nakao said that, while Asian economies used to follow a "flying geese" model, which essentially meant countries followed one another in terms of investment, the region today follows more of a production sharing model.

"One of the reasons India's economy grew slower compared to China was because they were more domestic oriented. India was not part of the global supply chain as much as China was," he explained.

Today, however, "the Chinese develop in some sectors … the Koreans develop in some sectors, so they are sharing comparative advantages through supply chains," the ADB president said.