Expert Webinar Series “Southeast Asia Economy Riding the New Normal: What Research Shows”
Hana Fajria –FEB UI Public Relations Officer
Depok – (18/9/20) The Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia, in collaboration with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and Elsevier, organized an expert webinar series entitled “Southeast Asia Economy Riding the New Normal: What Research Shows”. The webinar, which was joined by more than 500 participants from Asia-Pacific, discussed ways to deal with Covid-19. Against the background of the new normal that has affected various sectors across the world, including the economic condition in Southeast Asia, participants exchanged views and shared insights with economists about the challenges and opportunities in each country and how academicians and professional workers should work together to pave the way for an economic recovery.
Omar Malik, Regional Director, Elsevier Southeast Asia, in his welcome speech expressed appreciation to the participants and expected the event to benefit them and widen their horizon. The webinar featured two speakers, Dr. Lili Yan Ing, Lead Advisor (Southeast Asia) at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia and Vid Adrison, Ph.D., Head of the Economics Department, Faculty of Economics and Business Universitas Indonesia, and was moderated by Johan Jang, Consumer Consultant for Elsevier Asia.
Dr. Lili Yan Ing explained ASEAN’s strategies to deal with Covid-19 nationally and regionally. ASEAN needs stable macro economies, supported by low budget deficits and reasonable public debts to allow room for stimuli. First, a fiscal stimulus combined with healthcare, social safety net, tax incentives and economic recovery programs. Second, monetary stimulus through interest rate cuts, lower bank loan loss provisions, liquidity easing, buyback of government bonds and at the same time bearing the full cost.
“At the national level, health and education as well as trade and investment strategies take priority. At the regional level, concrete and solid cooperation rather than mere commitment among ASEAN members is crucial while still prioritizing health and ensuring the availability of affordable health supplements, ensuring sufficient stocks of food staples in ASEAN, simplification of export-import and investment procedures, implementing an automatic licensing system and increasing the capacity of digital-based activities,” said Lili Yan.
Vid Adrison explained the impacts of Covid-19 from the microeconomic perspective. The pandemic has caused an economic slowdown, which he said was due to wrong predictions. According to Vid, understanding the nature of a crisis and how economic agents behave are useful in identifying the right policies.
“Today’s crisis is different from past crises. The high risk of Covid-19 infection has restricted activities, adversely affecting the economy. Wrong policies could cost many lives and hurt economic performance. Ending the Covid-19 pandemic is imperative for economic recovery. Saving lives is saving the economy,” Vid concluded. (hjtp)