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Economic Recovery in ASEAN+3: New Drivers of Growth and Optimism

More than 2 years into the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, economic recovery is beginning to gain momentum in the ASEAN+3 region. Last year, the regional economy rebounded to 5.9% from a flat growth in 2020 and is projected to expand by 4.7% this year. However, legacy and new risks continue to cloud the outlook. The possibility of new and more virulent COVID-19 variants, which could derail further economic reopening, cannot be ignored, while the scarring effects from the pandemic on labor, capital, and overall productivity cast a shadow on the ASEAN+3 region’s long-term growth. More recently, geopolitical events have introduced new supply chain bottlenecks, while the tightening of US monetary policy has also raised inflationary pressures through elevated oil, commodity, and food prices. These external headwinds are expected to negatively impact consumption, exchange rates, and the current account balance in the region.

Against this backdrop, this webinar will discuss several themes critical to future economic recovery in the ASEAN+3 region amidst pandemic scarring, with a particular focus on regional- and country-level sectoral growth drivers. The discussion will touch on three well-established sectors, tourism, agro-processing, and garments and their future trajectory in a post-pandemic world, along with industries that have emerged with high potential for future growth, such as electronics, digital trade, and digitally supplied services. What policies can help strengthen the business environment, improve infrastructure, and crowd-in private sector participation to support these growth drivers? What role can regional cooperation play to build back a better, greener, and more resilient ASEAN+3 region, post-pandemic?


  • Welcome and Introduction: Glenn van Zutphen, Journalist and Founder of VanMedia Group
  • Opening Remarks: Toshinori Doi, Director, ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO)
  • Marthe M. Hinojales, Economist, Regional Surveillance, AMRO
  • James Villafuerte, Senior Economist, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Byungsik Jung, Deputy Director-General, International Finance Bureau, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Republic of Korea
  • Toan Thang Tran, Director, Department of Industrial Forecast and Enterprise Development, National Center for Economic Forecast and Information, Viet Nam
  • Lei Lei Song, Director, Economic Analysis and Operational Support Division, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, ADB
  • Ling Hui Tan, Group Head and Lead Economist, Regional Surveillance, AMRO