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Online workshop on Pandemic Policy and Economic Growth: Capacity Building for Officials

19 August 2020

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Jakarta, 19 August 2020: ERIA’s Capacity Building Programme held two days of online workshops, on 13-14 August, on ‘Pandemic, Trade, and Economic Cooperation’, for around 30 government officials from across various ministries in Cambodia. On the first day, the workshops focused on ‘Pandemic Shocks and Structural Transformation in East Asia’, while ‘Relief, Stimulus, and Recovery of Global Value Chain (GVC) in East Asia’ on the second.

Prof Shandre Thangavelu from the University of Adelaide’s Institute of International Trade and the Jeffrey Cheah Institute of Southeast Asia, Sunway University led the discussion. Each day’s session lasted for 3 hours, with the presentation that provided a set of data and combinations of different policy responses caused by the pandemic. 

The webinar session was opened by H.E. RATH Saravuth, Director General, Dept of International Trade, Ministry of Commerce, and Ms Irene Sokha, Senior Program Manager, Australian Embassy, Cambodia. In his opening remarks, Director-General RATH Saravuth commented that global value chain (GVC) has shown negative trends regionally and globally, creating significant demand for policy needed to mitigate risk. Ms Irene Sokha, in her remarks, stated that health security, stability, and economic recovery are the key policy responses to mitigate the tremendous shock to the economic demand and supply in Cambodia. Both speakers highlighted the importance of the webinar as stimulus to develop and undertake policy recommendations for the officials in response to Covid-19 in Cambodia. ERIA’s Director of Capacity Building, Mr Jeremy Gross, moderated the session.

The webinars focused on the economic and social effects of the pandemic, such as disruptions in production and the services sector. Discussions were held around (i) strategy to mitigate between pandemic and economic shocks (ii) the importance of regional cooperation through ASEAN Pandemic Task Force to oversee and coordinate policy responses across ASEAN (iii) the importance of creating leading indicators for pandemic shocks (iv) the importance of Global Value Chain (GVC). Participants also raised questions about the strategy on cross border trade, tourism, and international financial institutions. 

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