9TH OECD-AMRO-ADB/ ADBI-ERIA Asian Regional Roundtable on Macroeconomic and Structural Policies

Date & Time: 15-16 June 2021

Location: Virtual meeting

Contact: enquiry@amro-asia.org

The event is by invitation only.

The OECD-AMRO-ADB/ADBI-ERIA Asian Regional Roundtable convenes leading experts from Asian countries and the OECD to discuss the issues at the fore of recent economic developments in the region. It serves as a platform for knowledge sharing between the OECD, AMRO, ADB/ADBI, ERIA and Emerging Asia’s policy makers, as well as academics and the private sector. The roundtable also provides opportunities for dialogue on near-term macroeconomic policies and medium-term growth and development challenges including the linkages between near-term and medium-term issues, current agendas as well as future challenges in Emerging Asian economies.

This year’s roundtable will take place virtually, over two days. Through five sessions, this year’s roundtable will address recent domestic, regional and global trends that are changing the environment facing Emerging Asia’s policy makers. In the first session the topic of US Treasury bond market spillovers to the ASEAN region will be discussed. The second session will address financial reform in Asia toward financial inclusion and green development. The third session will explore how COVID-19 served as a catalyst for integration into the digital economy value chains and its challenges. On the second day, the fourth session will discuss the role green and social finance can play in facilitating Asia’s recovery and transitioning to green and inclusive growth. The final session will explore the challenges of macroprudential and monetary policies in Emerging Asia.

Previous roundtables were held in Singapore, Manila, Tokyo and Jakarta and focused on various topics including Euro-area economic uncertainty and its implications for Asian economies, new growth models in Asia, the impact of monetary easing in the OECD on the Asian economies, middle-income trap, challenges in energy sector, digitalization, global trade and multilateralism, education, urbanization, smart cities, fiscal sustainability in an aging population, as well as infrastructure and connectivity.

The event is by invitation only.

DAY ONE (all times are in SGT)

14:00 – 14:15 Tour de table

  • Each institution will be given 3 minutes to update on developments in the past year
    • ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO)
    • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    • Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)
    • Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
    • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

14:15-14:20 Photo Session

  • Heads of Delegation for AMRO, ADB, ADBI, ERIA and OECD, as well as presenters will be invited to the photo session

14:20 – 15:05 Session 1: US Treasury bond market spillovers to the ASEAN region (led by AMRO)

This session will focus on the spillover from the US Treasury bond market to the ASEAN sovereign bonds. Recently the unexpected rise in US Treasury yields caught markets by surprise and also had spillover effects on other asset classes and markets. This has been raised a concern in the regional sovereign bond markets. A recent study by AMRO (based on a VAR-GARCH model) confirm the unidirectional spillover in return from the US to ASEAN-4 (Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand), while there is a bidirectional influence in volatility. Given that ASEAN-4 governments have issued a large number of government bonds to finance their fiscal spending during the Covid-19 pandemic, the return and volatility spillovers from the US to ASEAN-4 could be important factors to be mindful of when the US unwinds its unconventional monetary policy and normalizes its interest rates in the not too far future.

Key questions to be discussed will include:

  • What are the risks the region will face when the US unwinds its unconventional monetary policy and normalize its interest rates after the pandemic and/or under higher inflation pressure?
  • For the region, what are the policy options to mitigate the spillover from the US Treasury bond market volatility?
  • What can the region do to strengthen the resilience of its sovereign bond markets?

Moderator: Prashant Pande, Financial Market Specialist, AMRO

Keynote presentation: Dr Matthew Yiu (Group Head, Surveillance), AMRO

Open Discussion and Q&A

15:05 – 15:50 Session 2. Financial reform in Asia toward financial inclusion and green development (ADBI’s session)  

Against the backdrops of the COVID-19 where Asian governments are forced to protect the micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and the disadvantaged groups, and to mitigate the unemployment problem and social pressure, financial inclusion seems to be one of the solutions to help basic production and most vulnerable groups, stabilizing employment and promoting production recovery. On the other hand, the effects of financial inclusion can be positive or negative toward green development or CO2 emission. As financial inclusion gives an easier access to businesses and individuals, it will make investment in green development is more feasible. However, improved access to financial services will lead to higher level of CO2 emission as well. Financial inclusion also enables consumers to afford energy-intensive consumer goods, such as, automobiles, refrigerators and air-conditioners.

This session will discuss the role of financial inclusion in supporting green development, especially in the economic recovery post COVID19 pandemic.

Key questions to be discussed will include:

  • On the current situation, how is the role of financial inclusion affecting the level of carbon emission in Asia? What are strong factors to influence the implementation of green development from financial inclusion perspectives?
  • What kind of policies are needed to enhance financial inclusion role in combating climate change and facilitating green development?

Moderator: Nella Hendriyetty, Senior Economist, CBT, ADBI

Keynote presentations: Peter Morgan, Vice Chair of Research Department, ADBI

Open discussion and Q&A

15:50 – 16:00 – Short Break

16:00 – 16:45 Session 3: Digital transformation and the economy (led by ERIA)

Emerging Asia is confronting the twin challenge of COVID 19 pandemic and realising a  sustainable and inclusive economic recovery. Concurrently, they must rapidly undertake digital transformation to remain engaged in the value chain of a more digitalized global economy whose adoption of digital technology for production and supply chain management has accelerated due to the pandemic. COVID-19 instigated a beta test for integration into the digital economy value chains and spotlighted the need for increased investments in digital connectivity and human capital for developing Asia’s continued participation in production networks. Concerted international cooperation is required to cover a spectrum of needs in emerging Asia, with infrastructure, regulatory frameworks, data flow and security being the immediate challenges.

Key questions to be discussed will include:

  • What cooperation strategies can help emerging Asia increase its levels of participation in the digital economies. How can the national plans and regional initiatives such as the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020 expand the digital economy in the region?
  • Other important questions include trade and facilitation policies, human resource training, participation in GVCs, and initiation of pilot projects of transforming to new digital economy.

Moderator: Anita Prakash, Sr Policy Advisor (IEC), ERIA

Keynote presentation: Lurong Chen, Sr Economist, ERIA

Open discussion and Q&A

 

DAY TWO (all times are in SGT)

14:30 – 15:15 Session 4: Green and inclusive recovery (led by ADB)

Asia has developed rapidly but now faces large environmental and social challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened things, hitting poor and vulnerable groups hard and limiting resources available for green and social investments. This session will discuss the role green and social finance can play in facilitating the recovery and transitioning to green and inclusive growth.

Key questions to be discussed will include:

  • How much investment is needed to support a green and inclusive recovery and move Asia toward attainment of the SDGs? Are the public and private sectors in the region ready to meet these investment needs?
  • What is the current state of private green and social finance both globally and regionally, and what has been driving its evolution? What impact is it having?
  • What policies are needed to further support the development of green and social finance in the region?

Moderator: Abdul Abiad, Director, Macroeconomic Research, ADB

Keynote presentation: Financing a Green and Inclusive Recovery, Shu Tian, Economist, ADB

Open discussion and Q&A

15:15 – 16:00 Session 5: Challenges of Macroprudential and monetary policies in Emerging Asia: Adapting to green goals and Fintech (led by OECD)

The peculiar characteristics of the COVID-19 crisis render measuring its economic damage challenging. Several considerations are therefore required in order to understand resilience towards large external shocks and improve financial market stability. This session will focus on policy domains whose importance continues to grow due to its undeniable role in ensuring the resilience of the financial system in the post-pandemic world— macroprudential and monetary policy. In particular, macroprudential policymakers need to be flexible, adjusting and expanding their policy toolkits in response to new challenges. Two of the most important challenges will be highlighted in this session, namely the advent of Fintech and the transition to a low-carbon economy. A variety of policy options will be brought to the attention of policymakers. This session is based on the forthcoming OECD publication “Strengthening macroprudential policies in Emerging Asia”.

Key questions to be discussed will include:

  • What are challenges of measuring economic costs of the COVID-19 crisis?
  • What is the current state of play in terms of monetary and macroprudential policy in Emerging Asian countries? Are there any policy challenges that require special attention?
  • Is the current macroprudential framework fit for the digital transformations taking place in the financial sector?
  • Does macroprudential policy have a role in supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy?

Moderator: Prasiwi Ibrahim, Deputy Head of Asia Desk, OECD Development Centre

Keynote presentation: Kensuke Tanaka, Head of Asia Desk, and Raluca Maran, Economist, OECD Development Centre

Open discussion and Q&A

16:00 – 16:05 – Closing remarks

 ADB

Note: The host institution for the 10th Roundtable will be ADB