The AMRO-BSP Joint Seminar on the theme “Asia’s Emergence in the New World Order: Growth, Integration, and Resilience” will be held on May 3, 2018 in Manila, the Philippines.
The seminar will discuss how economies in the ASEAN+3 region have developed into one of the most dynamic regions in the global economy while remaining open to trade and investment flows. The challenge for policymakers is to adopt appropriate policies so as to enable their economies to grow and develop in the face of near-term challenges such as trade protectionism, and longer-term structural challenges of technology and ageing populations. In this regard, the region’s increasing economic integration and connectivity will create new opportunities for regional growth and development, increasing the region’s resilience against external shocks.
At the seminar, AMRO will present key findings of its flagship report, the ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO) 2018 to set the context for the discussion. Prominent speakers and participants, who include ASEAN+3 policymakers and renowned academics, will be invited to share their insights and exchange views from various perspectives. The seminar will provide an opportunity to understand better these emerging challenges and benefits from new opportunities in the new world order.
The event will invite ASEAN+3 decision-makers, and will be open to other participants and media.
10:00am – 10:30am: Registration
10:30am – 10:45am: Welcome Speech by BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.
Keynote Speech by AMRO Director Junhong Chang
10:45am – 12:00 pm: Panel Discussion
Moderator: AMRO Chief Economist Hoe Ee Khor
- Bandid Nijathaworn, President and CEO of the Thai Institute of Directors
- Diwa C. Guinigundo, Deputy Governor, Monetary Stability Sector, BSP
- Suahasil Nazara, Head of Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia
- Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
- Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist, Asian Development Bank
- Lu Feng, Professor, National School of Development (NSD), Peking University
12:00pm – 12:30pm: Q&A
Keynote Speech by Dr Junhong Chang, AMRO Director
AMRO-BSP Joint Seminar
“Asia’s Emergence in the New World Order: Growth, Integration, and Resilience”
3 May 2018, Manila, Philippines
(As prepared for delivery)
Dear Governor Espenilla, distinguished panelists and colleagues,
1. Good morning. It is my great honor to address this distinguished gathering here today. I would like to start by expressing my appreciation to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, for co-hosting this seminar together with AMRO, and for the excellent arrangements here today.
Asia’s Emergence Through Growth and Integration
2. Despite the improving global economic outlook in 2018, the ASEAN+3 region faces external risks such as trade protectionism, and also longer-term challenges posed by changes in trade and production networks, and technology in a rapidly changing world. The theme today of “growth, integration and resilience” aptly describes what has underpinned Asia’s emergence in the past decades. Integration into the global economy has underpinned our region’s growth and development. Economies adopted a “manufacturing for exports” strategy to jumpstart their development, earning foreign exchange through exports to import capital goods, and in the process built productive capacity and created jobs.
3. This story is of course well known to you, but at a time when integration into the world is under threat from trade protectionism, it is worth reminding ourselves of the importance and benefits of free trade in our economic development. And at a time when openness to trade is sometimes seen as vulnerability to external shocks, we need to remind ourselves that trade had lifted growth and helped the region to recover quickly from past crises. The rebound in our region’s exports after the Asian Financial Crisis led our economic recovery, and was supported by external demand from a robust U.S. economy and the emergence of China as the center of the region’s production networks from the early 2000s.
4. It would indeed be a setback if the world were to take a step back in terms of trade integration due to unilateral trade protectionist actions. In AMRO’s flagship report this year, launched this morning before the seminar, we identified trade protectionism as one of the key risks to the region’s growth outlook. Our simulation of a hypothetical scenario of a limited trade war between the U.S. and China shows that both countries could lose 0.2 percentage points of growth within the first year, and an additional 0.2 percentage point for the U.S. by the third year, given the U.S.’s relatively greater openness to global trade.
5. Not only will a U.S.-China trade war be a lose-lose situation for the two countries, but there will also be collateral damage to the whole of Asia due to the strong production networks between China and the countries in the region, many of which also have close trade ties with the U.S. The negative impact to advanced economies in the region such as Japan, Korea, and Singapore ranges from 0.2 to 0.8 percentage point of growth. Among the emerging countries, the impact is smaller but still significant, ranging from 0 to 0.5 percentage point. In short, a US-China trade war is in fact a US-Asia trade war, with significant fallout on the rest of the world. On this cautionary note, let us hope that this scenario remains hypothetical.
6. Besides this near term risk of trade protectionism, there is much else to occupy the policymakers’ minds as they consider what could bring their economies to the next level of development, while maintaining financial stability. I have mentioned the “manufacturing for exports” strategy that led our region’s growth, and continue to be important for developing economies in the region such as Vietnam and Cambodia as they integrate themselves into global value chains. As these global value chains mature, however, some of the trade in intermediate goods in our region would be replaced by domestic production. In China, for instance, the share of domestic inputs in its export products have risen over the years to over 40 percent. Therefore, while integration into global value chains is still a viable driver of growth through exports and manufacturing, it is worth thinking ahead to economic diversification and creating multiple drivers of growth.
7. When considering these issues, technology and its impact must surely be at the top or near the top of policymakers’ minds. Technology is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, technology and automation means that manufacturing for exports will no longer generate jobs as in the past. Within our region, the extensive automation in the car industry is one example. On the other hand, technology has also facilitated the emergence of the services sector as a potential engine of growth and development.
8. Here in the Philippines, the success of the business process outsourcing or BPO industry illustrates the immense potential for services, facilitated by technology, to be a driver of growth and employment. I understand that the BPO sector employs more than 1 million workers, with wages 3 to 5 times that of the national average. This would not be possible without technological advances that transformed these services by making it tradable across borders. Here and elsewhere in the region, there is also tremendous potential in services industries such as tourism, as a driver of growth and employment. I look forward to the insights from our distinguished panelists on what has worked well for their economies in the face of challenges from global forces such as technology. We hope the discussion today will help ASEAN+3 economies better understand these emerging challenges and benefit more fully from new opportunities in the new world order.
Resilience Through Integration
9. I have touched on the theme of growth and development – the near term threat of trade protectionism, the challenges and also opportunities posed by developments in global value chains and technology, and the promise of the services sector as an engine of growth. Let me end on the theme of building resilience, which is closely linked to AMRO’s mandate to support the regional financial safety net of CMIM.
10. What would be an appropriate response to these challenges and opportunities? For an individual economy in ASEAN+3, the key recommendation is to build resilience through multiple engines of growth, including through the growing services sector. For our region, the key recommendation is to strengthen intra-regional connectivity and integration to meet growing intra-regional final demand. While the region remains open to global trade and investment, leveraging on intra-regional demand would improve the resilience of the region as a whole against external shocks such as protectionism. The ample resources and diversity in development within the ASEAN+3 region is a source of strength.
11. Our region has also come together to channel our efforts and resources into safeguarding regional financial stability, which is the foundation upon which we can pursue further growth and integration. The Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation or CMIM stands at the center of our regional financial safety net. In the last few years, the operational readiness of the CMIM has been greatly enhanced by conducting test runs, including with the IMF, and updating our operational guidelines. The first CMIM Periodic Review is about to be concluded and will stand as another milestone in strengthening our regional safety net and in regional financial cooperation.
12. At last year’s Host Country Seminar in Yokohama, I assured the audience that as the product of regional financial cooperation, AMRO will continue to be one of the “anchors” to advocate for greater regional cooperation and integration. I would like to end with this same message, and to reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding regional financial stability, in line with today’s theme of “growth, integration and resilience”. With this, I look forward to learn from our distinguished panelists, and I wish you all a stimulating and insightful discussion.
Thank you very much.
Adjusting Growth Model to Unleash Potential for Asia in A Changing World
MANILA, PHILIPPINES, May 3, 2018 – ASEAN+3 economies, after experiencing much growth over recent decades, are facing challenges posed by global forces including changes in technology, trade, and production networks. The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in a joint seminar today discussed ways the region could rise to challenges, enhance productivity, and continue with their growth pace.
With the theme “Asia’s Emergence in the New World Order: Growth, Integration, and Resilience”, the seminar presented key findings of the ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO) 2018 to set the context for discussion. Prominent speakers and participants, including high-level policymakers, leaders of international organizations, and renowned academics, shared their insights and perspectives during the discussion.
“Despite improving global economic outlook in 2018, the ASEAN+3 region faces external risks, such as trade protectionism, and longer-term challenges posed by changes in trade and production networks, and technology in a rapidly changing world,” said Dr. Junhong Chang in her keynote speech. “We hope the discussion today will help ASEAN+3 economies better understand these emerging challenges and benefit fully from new opportunities in the new world order.”
Meanwhile, in his welcome address, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. remarked that the core of the ASEAN+3’s successful growth story was globalization which paved the way for greater trade openness and economic integration in the region. For these growth engines to continue to pay off amid global uncertainties, there has to transpire a seamless fusion between conventional growth models and forward-looking strategies aimed at ensuring sustained economic resilience in a technology-savvy future. He also shared the view that the joint seminar will provide ASEAN+3 economies with broader insights in dealing with contemporary challenges and a stronger consensus in fostering deeper regional integration as a critical strategy to reduce external vulnerabilities and sustain its standing as an economic powerhouse in the new world order.
The panel noted that the region has successfully pursued a strategy of “manufacturing for exports”, whereby economies benefitted from export-oriented foreign direct investments (FDIs) to build up manufacturing capacity. While this boosted economic growth, employment, productivity, and wages over the past few decades, it has been put to test by trade protectionism, changes in trade and production networks, and technology. The panel agreed that the regional policy response against these challenges should be to deepen intra-regional integration, while developing resilience and competitiveness. In particular, the latter can be enhanced by improving connectivity in domestic and intra-regional infrastructure, coupled with regional efforts to facilitate cross-border trade.
The panel considered the impact of technology and automation in the growing services sector, which gives rise to both challenges and opportunities in ASEAN+3 economies. While technology may have reduced the demand for labor in manufacturing, it has also facilitated the emergence of services as a potential engine of growth and employment. Leveraging on services sector growth to create skilled jobs, however, requires investment in labor policies and education.
The panel agreed that the region’s growing intra-regional demand, ample resources for investment in infrastructure and social sectors, and diversity in factor endowments are sources of strength. While the region remains open to global trade and investment, leveraging on intra-regional demand would improve the resilience of the region as a whole.
SP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. speaks at the seminar.
The panel discusses key issues on growth and resilience in the ASEAN+3 region. From left to right: Dr Bandid Nijathaworn, President and CEO of the Thai Institute of Directors; Mr Suahasil Nazara, Head of Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance of Indonesia; Mr Diwa C. Guinigundo, BSP Deputy Governor; AMRO Chief Economist Dr Hoe Ee Khor; Mr Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF Deputy Managing Director; Dr Yasuyuki Sawada, ADB Chief Economist; and Professor Lu Feng of National School of Development, Peking University.