The Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India is a regular publication on Asia’s regional economic growth, development and regional integration processes. It focuses on the economic conditions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam) and two large economies in the region, the People’s Republic of China (hereafter “China”) and India. The Outlook was initially proposed at an informal reflection group on Southeast Asia in 2008 as a follow-up of the Council Meeting at Ministerial level (MCM) in 2007 and was accepted by ministers and senior officials from ASEAN countries at the occasion of the 2nd OECD Southeast Asia Regional Forum in Bangkok in 2009. The Outlook project was officially launched in 2010 and each edition is regularly presented on the occasion of the ASEAN/East Asia Summit. It was included in the OECD’s Southeast Asia Regional Programme (SEARP) at the Steering Group Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia in March 2015, with the role of providing a horizontal view of activities, identifying emerging trends in the region and providing a backbone for the different streams of the Programme confirmed at the 2015 MCM. The Outlook serves as a strategic foresight and policy dialogue tool for the SEARP. The Outlook consultation group (OCG) was established in 2014 with OECD Delegations and embassies of Asian countries in Paris.

This edition of the Outlook comprises two parts of two chapters each. The first part presents the regional economic monitor, depicting the economic outlook and macroeconomic challenges in the region (Chapter 1) and examines the risks posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the associated health, monetary and fiscal policy responses in detail (Chapter 2).

The second part of the Outlook explores innovative financing options and other practical steps for financing a sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Chapter 3 discusses methods of addressing increased sovereign debt levels and market-based means of financing a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while advancing other key policy agendas on matters such as climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability. Chapter 4 discusses practical changes necessary to implement the options discussed in Chapter 3.

The OECD Development Centre is committed to working alongside governments and actors in the region to identify key areas of intervention and address these challenges. The Centre enjoys the full membership of three Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam, as well as China and India. This project has also benefited from the generous support of other Emerging Asian countries.

The OECD is committed to supporting Asian countries in their efforts to promote economic and social well-being through rigorous analysis, peer learning and the sharing of best practices.

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