Southeast Asia and COVID-19
Examining the COVID-19 Pandemic and What it Means for Southeast Asia’s Future
This joint Asia Society Policy Institute-Asia Society Australia project presents a series of reflections on Southeast Asia and the COVID-19 pandemic through essays and video commentaries from experts.
Over the course of the project, we will examine the pandemic’s effect on Southeast Asia’s politics and society, its economy, regional cohesion and external relations. Along the way, we’ll suggest some ways in which Southeast Asia’s partners can respond to developments in the region and, especially, best support Southeast Asia’s economic recovery and long-term resilience and sovereignty.
Some Southeast Asian countries have – so far – escaped the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the virus has a firm grip in Indonesia and the Philippines, and even those nations with relatively low infection rates are grappling with second wave hot spots as internal restrictions are eased.
Meanwhile, the economic and human toll has been immense. Strongly growing economies have slumped. Poverty and unemployment have risen sharply.
These challenges come at a time when Southeast Asia’s external environment is complex and contested for other reasons – a time of change in global order, of protectionism and nationalism and of intense competition between the United States and China.
A series of short analytical papers will outline COVID’s impact on the region across six key areas, including public health, trade, and Southeast Asian regionalism. The project also includes interviews with leading regional experts, such as Richard Horsey, Aim Sinpeng, and James Gomez.