The COVID-19 outbreak and resulting uncertainty and policy interventions such as lockdowns, social distancing, and travel restrictions continue to severely disrupt Asian economies. Micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which account for the majority of economic activity and employment in many countries in the region, together with households, are bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s negative effects.
This ADBI-ADB webinar assessed COVID-19’s impacts on SMEs and households in developing Asia. The proceedings featured the findings of new research surveys by ADB and ADBI on the current situation among MSMEs, households, farms, and the tourism sector in the region, providing insights for improving pandemic mitigation.
The objectives of the event were to highlight this research, and to help build the capacity of ADB developing member countries to mitigate the pandemic’s negative socioeconomic effects. It was aimed at government officials from ADB developing member countries and policy researchers.
The event featured presentations of four studies based on fresh survey data on COVID-19 impacts in Asian economies, followed by a panel discussion on Policies for MSMEs. The first presentation by ADB senior economists Shigehiro Shinozaki and Paul Vandenberg reported the results of a survey of the impacts of COVID-19 and government policies on MSMEs. The second presentation by Tetsushi Sonobe, dean of ADBI, focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on enterprises and farmers. The third presentation by Peter J. Morgan, ADBI vice chair of research, looked at impacts on households. The fourth presentation by ADB ecnomist Manisha Pradhananga examined the impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism industry in the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
The panel discussion on MSME policies was led by Elaine Tan of ADB and featured presentations by Naoko Nemoto of ADBI, Mario B. Lamberte of the RESPOND Project, and Annie Norfolk Beadle of OECD.
The event was very well attended, with a maximum number of attendees of about 320 persons.
Peter Morgan has 23 years of experience in the financial sector in Asia, most recently serving in Hong Kong, China as chief Asia economist for HSBC. Previously, he served as chief Japan economist for HSBC. He earned his MA and PhD degrees in economics from Yale University in the United States. His research interests are in macroeconomic policy and financial sector regulation, reform, financial development, financial inclusion, fintech, financial literacy, and financial education.
Manisha Pradhananga has been an economist at ADB since 2018. Prior to ADB, she was assistant professor of economics at Knox College, United States, where she taught courses in macroeconomics, international trade, and economic development. Between 2011-2013, she worked at the ADBI in Japan as a research associate. Ms. Pradhananga obtained her PhD in economics from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College, both in the United States.
Shigehiro Shinozaki supports ADB’s developing member countries in improving access of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to finance through various technical assistance projects. His advisory and research expertise includes policy issues in SME development, inclusive finance, and financial sector development especially in developing Asia. Prior to joining ADB, he held several expert positions at Japan’s Ministry of Finance, OECD in France, and Japan International Cooperation Agency in Indonesia. He holds a PhD in international studies from Waseda University in Japan.
Before joining ADBI in April 2020, Tetsushi Sonobe was vice president of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. His research interest is in development economics, especially field studies of industrial development, human resource development, and sustainable development in developing economies. As dean and CEO of ADBI, he provides strategic leadership to make ADBI’s policy research and capacity building training programs more evidence-based and innovative and reach a wider audience.
Paul Vandenberg's research interests include industrialization, small and medium-sized enterprises, tech startups, and skills training. He previously worked at the ADBI and was a consultant for the International Labour Organisation. He has taught at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, the International Management Institute in India, and Thammasat University in Thailand. He received a PhD in economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, United Kingdom.
Annie Norfolk Beadle
Annie Norfolk Beadle is a policy analyst for the OECD’s South Asia and Southeast Asia Division, based in Paris, France. In this role she works closely with the ASEAN Secretariat and policymakers in Southeast Asia to support the region’s economic integration initiatives and to provide policy advice on matters pertaining to small and medium-sized enterprises, and broader private sector development. She also helps to manage the OECD’s external relations with partner countries, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Prior to this, she worked for the OECD’s Eurasia division, as well as the International Labour Organization’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, and a commodities firm based in Calcutta, India. Ms. Beadle holds an MSc in European political economy from the London School of Economics in the UK, where she specialized in industrial restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe following transition to a market economy.
Mario B. Lamberte
Mario B. Lamberte is currently team leader of the UPPAF Regulatory Support Program for National Development (RESPOND), a project funded by the USAID. Prior to this assignment, he was team leader of the Access to Credit component of the Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) project from April 2013 to October 2017. He served as director of research of ADBI from 2007 to 2012 and as president of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) from 1998 to 2005. He earned his PhD in economics from the University of the Philippines in 1982 and did his postdoctoral studies at Stanford University in the US from 1983 to 1984. He was elected president of the Philippine Economic Society in 1993. He has written several research papers and edited or coedited several books on emerging development issues in the Philippines and Asia.
Naoko Nemoto is a financial economist at ADBI in Tokyo, and a professor at Waseda Business School (Graduate School of Business and Finance). Her research interests include monetary policy, financial inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals. As former managing director at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Ms. Nemoto headed the financial service group. Before that she was an economist and analyst at the Bank of Japan. Ms. Nemoto has a BA in law from Waseda University, Japan, an MBA from the University of Chicago in the US, and a PhD in finance from Hitotsubashi University, Japan. She is a board member of the Government Pension Investment Fund Japan and Mizuho Banking Corp.
Elaine S. Tan
Elaine S. Tan is advisor, Office of the Chief Economist and Director General, and head of the Statistics and Data Innovation Unit in the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of ADB. Her work at ADB includes building statistical capacity in developing member economies, undertaking economic research using new data sources and methods, and providing support and policy advice to ADB operations. Earlier, she was with the economics faculty at Royal Holloway, University of London in the UK and with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore. She holds a doctorate in economics from Cambridge University, UK.