Think Tank (6/2021)
Money photo created by freepik
< Back
Economic Multilateralism for Post-COVID-19 Recovery
09 Nov 2021

The global economy and the liberal international economic order are at a critical juncture. The US-China “trade war” and COVID-19 have exposed the strengths and weaknesses of the global production networks that have increasingly become the foundation of our thriving global economy. They have also demonstrated the strengths and limits of international cooperation in times of crisis.

To address these issues, the Centre for Multilateralism Studies (CMS) at RSIS organised a series of webinars that focused on voices from Asia, which has been identified as the region most likely to be both the driver of economic growth coming out of the COVID pandemic as well as the future locus of global economic power.

The first webinar, “Geopolitical Dynamics and its Implications for Post-COVID Economic Recovery”, examined the shifting contours of geopolitics and its implications for post-COVID economic recovery and economic multilateralism. Panellists discussed how the rivalry between China and the United States has affected the international economic order, the shift in the locus of economic power to East Asia, and the roles international and regional actors such as APEC, ASEAN, G20 and the WTO can play in post-COVID economic recovery.

Geopolitical Dynamics and its Implications for Post-COVID Economic Recovery

The second webinar, “The Future of Multilateralism and the Role of Plurilaterals”, examined the increasing participation of WTO members in plurilateral initiatives. The Joint Statement Initiatives (JSIs), for example, are gaining momentum and present opportunities to rejuvenate the WTO and maintain its relevance in the 21st century through addressing modern business needs.

However, some WTO members have argued that these plurilaterals would be antithetical to WTO’s multilateral mandate. Panellists debated how plurilaterals enable or hinder the WTO’s work, and the extent to which these plurilateral initiatives promote or fragment economic multilateralism.

The Future of Multilateralism and the Role of Plurilaterals

The third webinar, “Economic Resilience and Security in Southeast Asia and ASEAN”, examined how increasingly complex transboundary challenges like climate change, cybersecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic have made economic resilience and economic security increasingly important. Panellists discussed how these two concepts are understood and addressed in Southeast Asia and ASEAN. They also examined the impact of economic resilience and economic security on long-term trends in ASEAN — including food security, digitalisation, connectivity and smart city development.

Economic Resilience and Security in Southeast Asia and ASEAN

more info
Other Articles