It has been over a year since the onset of COVID-19. Governments around the world have undergone an unprecedented challenge to contain the pandemic while minimizing the economic costs. Policy responses have been vastly different across countries, from strict quarantine measures in China, to minimal economic intervention in Sweden. Despite varying degrees of stringency, these containment measures have brought us to the status quo – a contraction of global GDP and a shift in economic activity among economic sectors. The global economy now has a unique starting point entering the third decade of the 21st century.
Having been through the SARS episode in the early 2000s, some East and Southeast Asian economies have appeared to withstand the COVID-19 pandemic well. The resilience that these economies, especially Taiwan, have shown is believed to be a result of the lessons learned from SARS, and the swift policy responses that the governments implemented in the current episode.
ACI has devoted its research to the economic impact of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia since the early stage of the pandemic. This book is a selection of research papers on this issue as we mark the anniversary of this research agenda. In part 1 of the book, a forward-looking framework is used to study sectoral dynamics in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In part 2 of the book, state-of-the-art data analytical tools are used to derive real-time insights from data. These insights provide useful information for tackling environmental issues, job market dynamics, and exit plans from the lockdown measures.
This book serves as a useful reference for policy makers and academics around the world. Asia’s unique experience in both the SARS and COVID-19 episodes helps policy makers reflect on the effectiveness of the policies. The topics raised in this book also provide new perspectives for academics in their future research.