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2021 Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2021

Reallocating Resources for Digitalisation

The Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India is a regular publication on regional economic growth, development and regional integration in Emerging Asia. It focuses on the economic conditions of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. It also addresses relevant economic issues in China and India to fully reflect economic developments in the region. The Outlook comprises two main parts, each highlighting a particular dimension of recent economic developments in the region. The first part presents the regional economic monitor, depicting the economic outlook and macroeconomic challenges in the region. The second part consists of a special thematic chapter addressing a major issue facing the region. The 2021 edition of the Outlook addresses reallocation of resources to digitalisation in response to COVID-19, with special focuses on health, education and Industry 4.0. During the COVID-19 crisis, digitalisation has proved critical to ensuring the continuity of essential services. The use of e-commerce, digital health tools and on-line education all accelerated sharply during the pandemic in Emerging Asia. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, for the region to be able to get the full benefits of digitalisation.

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