International workshop discusses post-COVID-19 ASEAN

Scientists and experts from Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, India, and elsewhere joined a workshop entitled “The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) after the COVID-19 pandemic” in Hanoi on September 8.

Participants focused discussions on a range of matters, including the pandemic in Southeast Asia and its impact, ASEAN’s response, changes in the region’s political and security situation, and forecasts for post-COVID-19.

Speaking at the workshop, President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) Bui Nhat Quang cited a report of the ADB released in June which said that Southeast Asia’s economy will contract 3 % in 2020 due to impacts of the pandemic.

Vo Xuan Vinh from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISAS) at VASS said that ASEAN member states actively responded and linked together right from the beginning of the outbreak via the bloc’s medical emergency response system and through information sharing, among others.

Vietnam is considered a success story in the fight against COVID-19, while ASEAN has basically brought the situation under control with high recovery and low mortality rates, he added.

According to him, ASEAN economies were not as hard hit as other regions, so have a better chance of post-pandemic recovery.

He said that if the disease is controlled then regional socio-economic growth is expected to improve in 2021, with GDP to increase between 3 and 6.5 %.

A number of solutions were put forth at the workshop, including those on boosting the capacity to respond to COVID-19 and economic recovery.

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