ASEAN Economic Outlook: Building Strategies for Resilient and Sustainable Recovery
Organizers: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank
Date and time
The ASEAN region is mending strongly with growth expected to reach an average of 5% in the next 2 years. The growth recovery is predicated on widespread vaccination efforts, easing mobility restrictions, and opening of borders to tourism.
Despite this sanguine outlook, the performance in the region varies with bigger and resource-rich economies growing faster than smaller economies or those dependent on oil and food imports. Sectoral growth is also quite uneven with the nascent recovery in transport, accommodation, and tourism occurring in a protracted manner. This K-shape recovery puts at risk inclusive growth in the region. Global risks have also increased and could weaken the growth outlook through trade and supply chain disruptions, high-commodity prices, and rising financial stress. Last but not least: economic scarring could slow productivity growth through destruction of human capital, rising trade costs and impediment, and higher interest costs which discourages innovation.
The unprecedented scale and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also put hard-won development progress at risk. For example, poverty estimates show that the number of people in extreme poverty in Southeast Asia has increased by an average of over 5 million in 2020 and 2021, compared with a no-COVID scenario. More so, with limited fiscal space and rising debt, delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and staying on a net zero path becomes even more difficult.
This webinar discussed the implications of competing short-, medium-, and long-term challenges on the region’s prospect for building a resilient and sustainable recovery. It also explored policy instruments that could be used to address such challenges.
The webinar was organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in partnership with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
- Opening Remarks: Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General, Southeast Asia Department, ADB
- Shuvojit Banerjee, Officer-in-charge, Macroeconomic Policy and Analysis Section, UNESCAP
- Aladdin D. Rillo, Senior Economic Advisor, ERIA
- Suhana Binti Md. Saleh, Director, Macroeconomic Division Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Department, Malaysia
- Lara Romina E. Ganapin, Director, Department of Economic Research, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
- James Villafuerte, Senior Economist, Southeast Asia Department, ADB
- Moderator: Anna Fink, Country Economist, Indonesia Resident Mission, ADB