Finance Minister: ASEAN needs to intensify COVID-19 cooperation

Finance Minister: ASEAN needs to intensify COVID-19 cooperation

A screenshot of Finance Minister Sri Mulyani at a working meeting with Commission XI of the House of Representatives (DPR) here on Monday (October 5, 2020). (ANTARA/Tangkapan layar Youtube DPR RI/pri)

We see ASEAN is experiencing a significant impact of the COVID-19 and ASEAN economic recovery highly hinges on cooperation among ASEAN member states.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) need to step up cooperation as they make efforts to deal with the impact of the novel  coronavirus pandemic.

 

“We see ASEAN is experiencing a significant impact of the COVID-19 and ASEAN economic recovery highly hinges on cooperation among ASEAN member states,” she said at a working meeting with Commission XI of the House of Representatives (DPR) here on Monday.

 

Cooperation in dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can be expanded through increasing investment, trade, and human mobility, she noted.

 

“That is the key to the dynamics of the ASEAN economy today,” she said.

 

ASEAN member states must intensify cooperation since the COVID-19 pandemic has put extraordinary pressure on them, which is evident from their economic contraction, she pointed out.

 

The pandemic has caused the economy of Malaysia to contract 17.1 percent, the Philippines 16.5 percent, Singapore 13.2 percent, Thailand 12.2 percent, and Indonesia 5.32 percent, she said.

 

“Their budget deficit has also fallen very deeply. It is equal to or larger than that of Indonesia. Malaysia has recorded a budget deficit of 6.5 percent, the Philippines 7.6 percent, Singapore 13.6 percent, and Thailand 6 percent,” she informed.

 

Meanwhile, the World Bank has forecast that the economy of Indonesia will contract 2-1.6 percent, Malaysia 6.1-4.9 percent, the Philippines 9.9-6.9 percent, Thailand 10.4-8.3 percent, Cambodia 2.9-2 percent, Laos 2.4-0.6 percent, and Myanmar 0.9-0.5 percent this year. Only Vietnam is projected to record a growth of 1.5-2.8 percent.

 

“Only the Vietnamese economy is relatively good. The Cambodian economy, which is usually relatively developing and growing at a high pace, will also record a deep contraction,” the minister said.

 

Mulyani said she is optimistic that as players in a large economic territory and market, ASEAN member states will benefit one another and thereby, withstand the crisis created by the pandemic.

 

“This was apparent when the financial crisis and global crisis engulfed ASEAN in 1997-1998. It (ASEAN) was among the regions which found it easiest to recover,” she noted. (INE)

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EDITED BY INE

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