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Strengthening Regional Supply Chains in a Post-COVID-19 World
10 Sep 2020

On 10 September 2020, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Indonesia, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Japan, and RSIS co-hosted a webinar titled “Strengthening Resilience of Supply Chains in the Indo-Pacific Region: Towards Economic Growth in the Post-Pandemic Era”.

The webinar began with opening remarks from Prof Akihiko Tanaka, President of GRIPS, with the subsequent keynote speech delivered by Prof Shujiro Urata, Professor Emeritus of Waseda University. Following Prof Urata’s presentation, Dr Yose Rizal Damuri, Head of Department of Economics, CSIS, and Asst Prof Kaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit, Deputy Head of Centre for Multilateralism Studies, RSIS, offered their comments and responses in a discussion moderated by Prof Narushige Michishita, Vice President of GRIPS.

Prof Urata observed that the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in supply and demand shocks around the world. International trade had declined and some Asian economies were expected to experience negative growth in 2020. In response to these disruptions, firms and governments across the globe have been implementing measures to diversify their supply chains, promote domestic production, and introduce labour-saving technologies. Panellists agreed with the importance of diversification, highlighting that both governments and businesses should act promptly to prepare themselves for the new economic conditions in a post-pandemic world.

The discussion also touched upon India’s potential role in regional supply chains. Although New Delhi had withdrawn from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, regional countries could contribute towards establishing a business-friendly environment in India that would help it to attract foreign direct investment. As a key country in realising the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, it would be important for India to remain engaged with the region and its activities.

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