Under the theme Asia Forward: Leading the Way Towards a New Multilateralism, AGD 2021 explored key aspects of the global economy including digitalization and sustainability and how Asia can drive the post-pandemic recovery and reinvigorate multilateral cooperation.
Welcome and Opening
Recovery and Renewal: Globalization After the Pandemic
Asia and a New Multilateralism
Fireside Chat: Mapping Global Imbalances: A One-Earth Balance Sheet
Rethinking Growth and Sustainability: Can Asia Lead?
The Global Economy: New Drivers of Growth
As the world struggles to emerge out of the pandemic, what are the lessons to learn from the global effort to address this cataclysmic crisis? What needs to be done to improve international cooperation not just in public health but across the sustainability agenda from climate change to inequality, from gender to the impact of technology? And what role should key economies in Asia play in this effort?
Post-pandemic, multilateralism – the mastery of globalization through international collaboration – must be renewed and strengthened. The US and its Western allies and partners call for the shoring up of the postwar liberal rules-based international order. But should the goal be simply to strengthen existing mechanisms and institutions? How can multilateralism work better in a decoupling world or a divided and divisive global system? What are the implications for regional groups such as ASEAN and APEC, the RCEP and CPTPP trade groupings, new institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), plurilateral arrangements such as the Quad and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), economic integration and collaboration programs such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and regional and global public health and health security frameworks that have been tested during the pandemic? What new models of world order should be explored or expanded? Can Asia lead?
Every few years a crisis – the present pandemic as well as the 2008-2009 recession – highlights the inadequacy of GDP and its supporting economic metrics for measuring global progress and prosperity. And while there is almost universal agreement that GDP fails to accurately capture the importance of climate action, sustainability, inclusivity, global cooperation and even happiness, there has been no significant shift to other measures such as the renowned One-Earth balance sheet. What is needed to make progress at scaling the use of better metrics? How and why should Asia be the laboratory for the one-earth balance sheet?
The silver lining of the pandemic is that it stopped “business as usual” and gave communities, markets, and businesses the opportunity to reflect on and reset priorities. The important conversations around human health, environmental resilience, and social responsibility are only just beginning. And while there is broad acknowledgement that economies need growth in order to produce resources for the recovery, there is also a push to ensure a higher quality of growth that is compatible with human and environmental well-being. How are Asia’s key economies taking on the challenge to reshape and reset for the future? What new expectations and opportunities are being created for companies and supply chains that can help deliver the sustainable economy?
Nearly two years after the onset of the pandemic, what are the key drivers of the global economy? Digitalization is transforming how businesses connect with consumers and collaborate with each other; a new health and wellness agenda is transforming the world of work; businesses are committing to carbon neutrality; and investors are agitating for real and faster change. How might these and other growth drivers reshape the world ahead? What can businesses and policymakers do to make the most of these changes?