Southeast Asia has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as much of the rest of the world.
In response, countries across the ASEAN bloc have issued various stimulus packages containing incentives and new regulations to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.
Despite recording a downturn, ASEAN economies offer compelling investment prospects for prominent businesses and niche industries given the region’s well-established trade networks, growing middle-class cohort, and a young and educated workforce. In the first quarter of 2020, the bloc became China’s largest trading partner worth a total US$150 billion during this period. Furthermore, the IMF predicts the region to grow by 7.8 percent in 2021, fueled by the acceleration of China-based manufacturers looking to diversify their risks into ASEAN.
In this issue of the ASEAN Briefing magazine, we begin by introducing the different incentives and measures issued by ASEAN’s largest economies from March to June 2020 to mitigate the economic impact of the virus. We then analyze the HR and employment issues faced by businesses during the pandemic. Finally, we focus on the investment opportunities in ASEAN in the post COVID-19 era.