Book Launch: Annual Competitiveness Analysis and Impact of COVID-19 on ASEAN

2020 has proven to be a tumultuous year for the world. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as a highly internationalized region, is naturally not spared from events. At the time of writing, vaccines for the virus have begun to be distributed worldwide in the hopes of containing the virus. Meanwhile, new and more […]

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Reopening International Travel: The Travel Bubble Approach

Why was the Singapore – Hong Kong travel bubble deferred twice? Will a high vaccination rate give policy makers the necessary confidence to proceed with it again? Our latest research explores the decision-making process among global leaders as they work towards cooperative travel arrangements in a pandemic.  Reopening international travel is one of the most pressing issues facing the world […]

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Special Economic Zones in Indonesia: Progress and Challenges during the Pandemic

As Indonesia joins other countries in charting its economic recovery beyond the pandemic, economic onlookers have been keenly watching the country’s special economic zones. The Nongsa Digital Park in Batam was recently endorsed as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by President Joko Widodo- This signals the central government’s support for regional and international businesses looking […]

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Book Launch: Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Three Asian Tigers

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 […]

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India’s Second COVID-19 Wave: Why are the more economically competitive states less COVID-resilient?

India’s deadly second wave of coronavirus has left millions of its population infected and has placed extreme stress on the nation’s crumbling healthcare system. At its peak on 8th May 2021, India recorded more than 400,000 cases in a single day, accounting for over half the world’s daily cases and setting a global record that no country wants. According to […]

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Does Working from Home Work?

An important question facing workplace policy is whether there are significant differences in productivity levels between working from home and working in office? ACI research examines this question through temporal and geographical variation in state-imposed closure of workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic to estimate whether WFH changes work patterns. The study looks into a census […]

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Chart of the Week April 9, 2021: Vaccine Nationalism and Inequity

Summary  The ‘vaccine nationalism’ policy stance by major vaccine producers of the world has caused a serious dent in the global solidarity of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The negotiation by high-income countries with vaccine producing companies for large advance orders has crowded out poor countries in the process.  Supply limitations have largely held back the Covax program, where middle and low-income countries are supposed to receive 2 billion vaccine doses. If countries with many cases lag […]

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Chart of the Week March 12, 2021: The Relevance of Competitiveness & Development to COVID-19 Severity in ASEAN

Summary:  Of the eight ASEAN Member States where deaths have been reported, Singapore has the lowest case fatality rate despite having the highest number of cumulative COVID-19 cases per million population. Malaysia and Thailand also note comparatively lower case fatality rates despite having higher proportions of elderly in the population. Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI)’s Annual ASEAN Competitiveness Index was found […]

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Chart of the Week February 26, 2021: Exacerbation of Income Inequality in India during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Summary:  The COVID-19 pandemic did not just cause a healthcare crisis but also an economic crisis, the impact of which is likely to sustain for years to come. The crisis made Indian billionaires richer by increasing their wealth by more than one-third, and simultaneously put around 400 million informal workers at risk of falling deeper into poverty.[1] This […]

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