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Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia: Coping with COVID-19 in ASEAN--Challenges of Digitalisation

ASEAN, OECD, digitalisation, COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected ASEAN countries in many ways beyond the immediate health crisis. Negative impacts and pressures on firms, the labour market and households are already apparent, although they vary by sector. In addition to policies to prevent the spread of the virus, such as border closures, lockdowns and restrictions on social interaction, all countries in the region have taken measures to ease the economic shock, including stimulus packages, but further efforts are needed. Continuous policy support is necessary to overcome the issues confronting the sectors most affected by the pandemic.

The pandemic demonstrated the importance of digitalisation and the opportunities it brings. Digital tools proved essential during lockdowns to ensure the continuity of essential services. However, efforts to mobilise digital innovations remain limited in some emerging economies. Further efforts would be needed to facilitate digitalisation and reap the full benefits of the growing demand for digital tools. Regional initiatives to deal with the pandemic and its effects are currently underway and need to be strengthened going forward.

Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), in collaboration with the OECD Development Centre and ASEAN Secretariat will conduct a webinar to share their views about policy challenges and priorities in response to the pandemic in the region.


This moderated panel discussion will be held via Zoom platform using the meeting function.


Participants will come from the public and private sectors, academia, international organisations, and civil society. The nature of this webinar is public. The event will be recorded and posted online.


Ms Anita Prakash, Director, Policy Relations, Office of the President, ERIA


  • Dr Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN
  • Mr Kensuke Tanaka, Head of Asia Desk, OECD Development Centre
  • Mr Iman Pambagyo, Director General for International Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Trade, Indonesia

Reference Points of the Webinar

  • South East Asia’s economic performance will be important for all global partners in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery
  • Trade, both goods and services, will have important role  in near and longer term economic growth
  • ASEAN must prepare for a digital economy, to maintain the competitiveness of its production networks
  • The next phase of ASEAN’s economic performance will need investing in the human capital, and infrastructure for a digitalisation

Date and Time

23 October 2020, 2 PM to 3:30 PM Jakarta, Indonesia time (UTC+7)





2:00 PM to 2:05 PM

Start of Webinar | Welcome Remarks

Ms Anita Prakash

Director, Policy Relations, ERIA

2:05 PM to 2:55 PM

Panel Discussion

·         Mr Kensuke Tanaka, Head of Asia Desk, OECD Development Centre

·         H.E. Mr Aladdin Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General, ASEAN

·         Mr Iman Pambagyo, Director General for International Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Trade, Indonesia

2:55 PM to 3:25 PM


3:25 PM to 3:30 PM

Closing remarks and end of webinar

Reference Document

Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2020 - UPDATE

Published on 31 July 2020

The Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India is a bi-annual publication on regional economic growth, development and regional integration in Emerging Asia. It focuses on the economic conditions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. It also addresses relevant economic issues in China and India to fully reflect economic developments in the region. The update of the Outlook comprises three main parts, each highlighting a particular dimension of recent economic developments in the region. The first part presents the regional economic monitor, depicting the economic outlook and macroeconomic challenges in the region. The second and third parts consist of special thematic chapters addressing major issues facing the region. The second chapter of this update focuses on the COVID-19 outbreak, discussing in particular the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. An analysis of the quality of education in the region is discussed in the third chapter.

Read more and download the document from OECD’s website:

Concept Note


Starting Date

23 October 2020

End Date

23 October 2020




Virtual Room

Contact Info

Ms Monde Maharani

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