How is Covid-19 affecting ASEAN? - Will it improve their economy or ruin it?

For starters, ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with 10 nations including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore. It is a Regional Intergovernmental Organization which promotes a number of economical, political, and many more sectors.

In my opinion, I think Covid-19 might have a bad impact on their economy. However, in general, I think it will improve their economy quite well. Here are some examples of how Covid-19 will improve their economy:

  • According to Singapore PM Lee, by 2030, ASEAN is predicted to become the world’s 4th largest economy with roughly $4 trillion USD.

  • Income levels will be raised by 70% over the next decade.

  • PM Lee also noted that the region has a ‘growing educated and young workforce, and an emerging middle class’ with 60% of its population under 35 years old.

  • According to Singapore PM Lee, he also said that the ASEAN is home to four of the world’s fastest growing economies.

It’s not just economic improvement, Covid-19 will help improve technology, provide more internet access to rural areas and it will also help improve the health care system. In addition, the research of Coronavirus might also help improve the cure for other viruses.

In general, I think it will advance technological and scientific development. According to the World Economic Forum Agenda, technology will also tear down socio-economic walls as governments and businesses strive to provide connectivity and everyday essentials to rural and low income communities.

However, Covid-19 will also have a bad impact on ASEAN as the air travel and tourism industries lose billions of dollars. Most of the countries in ASEAN heavily rely on the tourism industry such as Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

Do you know that Thailand has the most tourists in the World? 35 to 40 million tourists visit Thailand every year and the total tourism revenue in Thailand is 12 trillion baht (400 billion USD). The South East Asian nations receive one of the highest numbers of tourists around the world. – For this reason, I believe that COVID-19 will also impact ASEAN negatively.

In conclusion, I think Covid-19 will fairly improve the economy of ASEAN as Covid-19 accelerates the digital transformation, scientific and economic development. Nonetheless, Covid-19 will also cause a number of problems at the same time because most nations in South East Asia rely heavily on the tourism industry.