Today ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) held a webinar on Economic Recovery in ASEAN+3: New Drivers of Growth and Optimism and also release a report ‘s on Supporting Post-Covidi-19 Economic Recovery in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia.

This publication is the first of four reports from a regional study completed in 2021 and funded by the technical assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Policy Advice for COVID-19 Economic Recovery in Southeast Asia.

The project supports the recovery efforts of Southeast Asian countries to return to their economic performance before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It also assists countries in preparing for national, regional, or global transformations that may take place post-COVID-19. The focus countries are Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand, which tapped ADB’s COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Option facility.

“This webinar was a side event of the 25th ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting. The Meeting discussed pandemic policy support, new growth opportunities and regional cooperation. As the region’s policy advisors, ADB and AMRO organised this forward-looking webinar to continue the ASEAN+3 Ministers and Governors’ conversation on new drivers of growth in the wake of the pandemic,” said Toshinori Doi, AMRO Director.

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery is beginning to gain momentum in the ASEAN+3 region. The webinar focused on several themes critical to economic recovery in the region, including scarring effects of the pandemic and new sectoral growth drivers at the regional and country levels.

“COVID-19 has been both a major disruptor and a catalyst for change. After two years and counting, some extent of scarring is unavoidable—although it will take different forms in different economies and some economies will be more affected than others. On the other hand, the pandemic has spurred innovation in sectors such as retail, finance, and healthcare, which might lift the region’s economies in the long run toward higher productivity-driven growth,” said Ling Hui Tan, AMRO Group Head and Lead Economist for Regional Surveillance.

The discussion touched on well-established sectors, including tourism, garment and agro-processing, and their trajectory in a post-pandemic world, along with industries that have emerged with high potential for future growth, such as electronics, and digital trade and services. It also covered discussion on policy response to a number of risks, including rising inflation and supply disruptions from the war in Ukraine, which continues to evolve.

“Supporting industries with competitive advantage to propel a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery will not only require sector-specific interventions by governments, but crosscutting measures that encourage an enabling business environment, improved infrastructure, and stronger intra-regional linkages,” said ADB Director General for Southeast Asia, Ramesh Subramaniam.

The webinar also discussed policies to help strengthen the business environment, improve infrastructure, and crowd-in private sector participation to support these growth drivers, and the role of regional cooperation in building a better, greener, and more resilient ASEAN+3 region in a post-pandemic scenario.

In more than 100 pages, this report shows five sectors of common relevance to COVID-19 recovery in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand. In each sector, there are unique challenges created by COVID-19 as well as differences in their growth prospects and opportunities. Policy interventions are outlined which could help address some of the current challenges and seize the available growth opportunities.

The report begins by prioritising the sectors important for medium-term recovery. It then analyses sector-specific challenges, growth opportunities, and potential policy interventions to help policy makers develop targeted strategies for the next three years.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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