ADBI Dean Sonobe Assesses Asia’s Pandemic Recovery Priorities

ADBI News Release | 30 April 2020

Tokyo, JapanADBI Dean Tetsushi Sonobe discussed imperatives for enabling COVID-19 pandemic recovery in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific and new ADBI research to boost related policy efforts in a video message.

“Currently, governments are busy implementing containment measures and relief measures, but it will be followed by economic recovery measures,” said Dean Sonobe. “Formulating effective and efficient recovery policies requires a good understanding of the needs of people in different sectors and knowledge of how people respond to policy.”

ADBI is focused on assisting the design of recovery policies for the governments of developing countries in Asia and the Pacific, Dean Sonobe noted. This includes the launch of a new survey of the economic impacts of COVID-19 and related policies on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

The project’s aim is to promote improved support policies for these vulnerable firms based on an empirical examination of SME productivity, production and supply chain trends, and trade flows during the pandemic, as well as responses to government assistance measures.

“In extraordinary times like these, people need to behave in a coordinated way and naturally expect their government to play this coordinating role,” said Dean Sonobe. “ADBI is seeking to enhance understanding of the interaction between people and governments amid the COVID-19 crisis.”

Spotlighting lessons that can help policy makers deploy measures and inducements that accelerate pandemic recovery in the region will be central to ADBI’s policy development research and implementation guidance moving forward, Dean Sonobe explained.

“In this year of drastic changes, there will be a lot of innovative ideas coming in science, technology, business, culture, and other areas. There will also emerge many innovations in social science research and capacity building and training,” Dean concluded. “ADBI needs to strive to keep pace with, if not, lead, these innovations.”