Covid-19 and the Asian Economy

May 12th, 2020

COVID-19 continues to take a toll on humankind around the globe, including in Asia and the Pacific. As countries take extraordinary safety measures to slow its spread, those measures have economic impacts. Asia is obviously ground zero in regards to this global pandemic.

The good news is that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economies are better prepared than they were during the Asian Financial Crisis that impacted the region in the late 1990s. Currently in 2020 the region holds stronger macroeconomic positions and has larger foreign exchange reserves compared to the 1990s crisis. Also as the world watches what the economic fallout from Covid-19 will ultimately look like there is also broad concern and uneasiness surrounding the ongoing spread and ultimate containment of the virus.

Despite some pessimistic forecasts for the region, a strong rebound is projected by both the IMF and ADB for 2021. According to an article by the research organization think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “The IMF projects growth for the ASEAN-5 to bounce back to +7.8 percent in 2021, while the ADB sees growth for Southeast Asia rebounding to +4.7 percent next year. In short, they see the global economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic as a huge but relatively short-term shock.” However, after-effects of the pandemic will also be country-specific depending on the structure of the country’s economy and its original economic conditions heading into the crisis.

It is complicated to predict the ultimate economic impact on Southeast Asia as the pandemic continues to unfold and there is continued uncertainty on just how the crisis will reshape the global economy. The reality is there will be an inevitable slowdown or recession expected to come this year due to the virus. What we do know is in 2020 The ASEAN economies are in a stronger economic position to better handle the impact.

It is important to remember that investing in Southeast Asia continues to mean contending with countries that although are in the same region do have different currencies, legal systems, infrastructures, varied religious beliefs, traditions, and customs. You can about general employment practices, policies, and regulations in each country including leave and benefits at our country facts pages

Tiger Consulting offers one-stop shop human resource (HR), payroll and business support services across Asia and other regions including Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam. Our mission is to make it easier for companies to quickly and cost-effectively hit the ground running in new markets while staying compliant with local labor laws and employment regulations. We are proud to enable 300+ international businesses to expand their reach, and in turn, grow at home.

For questions about Tiger-Consulting's HR, Payroll, PEO and business support services in Asia and UAE, contact

Mercy Mildener
Public Relations and Marketing Consultant

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