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Economics, Health, Industry and trade

Empowering Thai SMEs to join global value chains: Policy priorities under COVID-19

Empowering Thai SMEs to join global value chains: Policy priorities under COVID-19
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are significant contributors to economic activity and employment worldwide, and Thailand is no exception. In Thailand, SMEs represent the vast majority of firms and employ the bulk of the domestic workforce. According to the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP 2019), in 2018, approximately 3 million companies were classed as SMEs in the country, comprising 99.8% of all companies. SMEs also accounted for 14 million jobs, or 86% of total employment.

Economics, Environment, Health, Social development and protection

ESG investment growth amid the COVID-19 crisis

ESG investment growth amid the COVID-19 crisis
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment is critical for achieving inclusive growth in Asia and can play a critical role in reducing the income inequality caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Economics, Environment, Finance sector development, Health

COVID-19 highlights the need to strengthen environmental risk management and scale-up sustainable finance and investment across Asia

COVID-19 highlights the need to strengthen environmental risk management and scale-up sustainable finance and investment across Asia
Like the rest of the world, Asia has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. While some countries have been able to contain the spread of the virus relatively well, the disruption of supply chains, sharp decline in global demand, and the large-scale withdrawal of capital have led to severe economic contractions across the region.

Economics, Health, Social development and protection

Achieving fiscal sustainability in the face of demographic change

Achieving fiscal sustainability in the face of demographic change
Asia is advancing toward becoming a gray society, though some countries are in the early stages and some are more advanced. The longevity revolution is being demonstrated through longer life expectancies due to medical innovation and improvements in medical care, as well as people having healthier lifestyles. Meanwhile, a continuously decreasing trend in fertility rates is being witnessed across the region. These two factors combined create the demographic transition of population aging. This demographic transition is not new, and its socioeconomic impacts have spread widely in many economies in Asia and the Pacific.

Economics, Health

Economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price collapse

Economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price collapse
The recent collapse in oil prices in the global market was caused by a combination of supply and demand issues as well as uncertainty about the future, and has resulted in a crash in financial markets. But what are the reasons behind this collapse, and what impacts will it have on oil-exporting and oil-importing economies?

Economics, Health, Social development and protection

How should ASEAN and ASEAN+3 respond to the COVID-19 crisis?

How should ASEAN and ASEAN+3 respond to the COVID-19 crisis?
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its bigger counterpart ASEAN+3, comprising the 10 ASEAN members and the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK), have been slow to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. While they have been strenuously ramping up their efforts, more needs to be done, and quickly. There are many things they can do immediately, such as employing their machinery to increase consultation and cooperation to curb contagion—both medical and economic—and limit beggar-thy-neighbor policies.

Economics, Health, Social development and protection

The tip of the iceberg for COVID-19 cases in developing Asia?

The tip of the iceberg for COVID-19 cases in developing Asia?
The number of COVID-19 cases in many Asian developing countries is surprisingly low, but this may simply reflect inadequate levels of testing. The high correlation between rates of testing and per capita GDP strongly suggests that lower-income countries face a number of barriers to carrying out adequate testing. This raises the risk of rapid increases in infection rates in the future and points to the need for support for additional testing, as well as for increases in medical spending and general fiscal measures.

Economics, Health, Social development and protection

Global stimulus to fight the COVID-19 pandemic

Global stimulus to fight the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become a severe global crisis, with a drastic spread in less than 2 months and shifts in its epicenter. Almost 1 million people have been infected with the virus around the world, and the number of deaths has shot up rapidly and continues to grow.

Economics, Health, Social development and protection

Networks and technologies to assist the vulnerable during the pandemic

Using networks and technologies to assist the vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis
Developed countries can use advanced social security systems to protect households from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but developing countries face a bigger challenge. They typically have a large informal sector and limited social security coverage, which hinder the delivery of assistance at short notice. Yet, developing Asia is better equipped to cushion the economic impact of the current crisis compared to the global financial crisis of 2008.

Economics, Health, Social development and protection

Improve handwashing access to combat COVID-19

Improve Handwashing Access to Combat COVID-19
Medical experts and institutions tell us that a critical but simple lifesaving action to reduce vulnerability to COVID-19 is literally in our own hands—regular handwashing with soap. Public awareness efforts underscore the need for greater behavioral compliance.