The 2021 CAREC Institute visiting fellow Teresita Cruz-del Rosario, Research Associate at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, studied the relationship between investments in health and education and regional cooperation and integration (RCI) outcomes through a comparative study of the performance of countries in the CAREC and ASEAN subregions. She used four indices — the Human Development Index (HDI), Human Capital Index (HCI), the CAREC Regional Integration Index (CRII), and the Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index (ARCII) — to draw conclusions.
Her comparative study highlighted the high level of human capital development (HCD) in ASEAN that can provide lessons to the CAREC countries. She concludes that Singapore offers incontrovertible evidence of high performance in HCD and is also the most integrated economy in ASEAN. Singapore’s technical and vocational education system is the main focus of the case study and provides lessons to the CAREC countries. This report makes an important contribution to the policy discussion on RCI from the perspective of regional public goods (RPG) and advances the argument that the creation and distribution of RPG are vital to RCI.