CNBC Debate: Shaping the Great Reset in Asia

Monday, 3 May 2021, 9:30 am - 10:30 am

CNBC Debate - 2021 Annual Meeting


Masatsugu Asakawa
President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors

Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Governor for Indonesia, ADB; and Minister of Finance, Indonesia

José Viñals
Group Chair, Standard Chartered PLC


Christine Tan
Anchor, CNBC

Seminar summary

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year, regional growth is forecast to bounce back but prospects diverge at the subregional and national levels. Vaccine rollouts open the way to a “new normal” but what will it take to ensure developing Asia’s Great Reset points the region toward a green, resilient, and inclusive future? How can economies safely reopen to reinvigorate consumption and job creation?

The CNBC Debate explored opportunities for developing Asia to leverage its considerable strengths to plan and rebuild smartly for a world where globalization, finance, and trade relationships have been redefined by the pandemic.

Panelists agreed that timely and effective vaccine rollouts will be key to the region’s recovery, and stressed the need for financing sophisticated, equitable, and reliable vaccine distribution systems. The debate also underscored the need for investments in health, education, and social protection to address increasing income inequality and worsening poverty across the region. In rolling out social safety nets, it is important to address the gender dimension as women are among the worst affected by the pandemic.

As Asia rebuilds from the pandemic, it must also urgently confront the climate emergency. Panelists emphasized that a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery will require substantial investment and financing support. Equally important will be regional cooperation and joint action by the public and private sectors alongside multilateral organizations. Well-designed policies and collaboration will be especially critical in financing the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

To make the recovery truly inclusive and sustainable, panelists emphasized that it is imperative to address longstanding development issues such as the digital divide, with the private sector and government working together to rebuild smartly.

The debate also examined approaches to financing the region’s recovery, including through environmental, social, and governance investing, efforts to improve domestic resource mobilization, and international tax cooperation.

Related links