The pandemic erased millions of jobs in Southeast Asia. But the digital economy offers renewed hope particularly for young job-seekers—if they can learn the necessary skills.
Despite the global economic turmoil, remittances remained remarkable resilient during the pandemic. Reforms are needed to keep this financial lifeline strong in the years ahead.
An ADB economist who specializes in the areas of education, skills development and jobs, answers questions about which jobs are best suited to work-from-home arrangements, based on a recent study in Southeast Asia.
In Southeast Asia, women workers were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Urgent policy action is needed to address the issue and improve the welfare of women in other areas as well.
The massive Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is expected to go into force in 2022. It could be instrumental in helping Asian economies bounce back from the pandemic.
With the right policies in the sustainable finance market, Southeast Asian governments can add momentum to the region’s post-pandemic recovery and improve lives through the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Just as past crises triggered international and regional financial cooperation, the pandemic offers an opportunity to collectively improve financial resilience and soundness.
School reopening should be done on a risk-based approach – with situations closely monitored, particularly for the effect of COVID-19 variants – and school closure be used as a last resort.
Strong remittance inflows should be used as an opportunity to strengthen the systems that help overseas workers and their families back at home.
To respond to the challenges of the pandemic and deliver services effectively, a professional civil service needs to build the values, culture and skills required to respond to complex demands and challenges.