Economics, Governance and public sector management

Challenging times for central banks: Low inflation, monetary policy, and digital currency

Challenging times for central banks: Low inflation, monetary policy, and digital currency
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has transformed the global monetary policy landscape. The sharp global economic slowdown caused by the spread of the virus and the various countermeasures embarked on by governments under states of emergency (such as quarantines, policies to restrict mobility, school closures, and restrictions and limitations on business operations) prompted many central banks to implement substantial monetary easing from March 2020 along with massive fiscal stimulus measures. As a result of these measures, a growing number of central banks have faced the effective (or zero) lower bound or approached it in their policy rates.

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, Governance and public sector management, Industry and trade, Private sector development

SMEs in global value chains: Catalysts for dynamic and inclusive economic growth

SMEs in global value chains: Catalysts for dynamic and inclusive economic growth
The world has been witnessing the active construction of global value chains (GVCs) by multinational corporations (MNCs) in recent decades. According to the World Bank (2020), the share of GVC trade in world trade increased rapidly from approximately 40% in 1990 to over 50% in 2007 before declining somewhat after the global financial crisis in 2007–2008. MNCs fragment production processes into various stages and locate them in various countries and places where the particular stages can be conducted most efficiently, or at least cost, in order to achieve an efficient production system.

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.