Saving Globalization? Global Value Chains in East Asia After the Pandemic

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Globalization has been key to the growth of China and East Asia in the last thirty years. However, COVID-19 has generated a wave of pessimism over the prospects of globalization. Many have argued that the pandemic is likely to shorten or restructure global value chains (GVC) as governments and multinational enterprises are pressured to bring production home or closer to home, so as to increase resilience and diversity of supply. This shift is occurring against the backdrop of the US-China technology conflict, leading to concerns over technology bifurcation and the risks that this might pose to GVCs.

In light of these changes, how will GVCs be reconfigured? What are the likely impacts on current GVCs, especially in developing Asia? How will digital technologies transform production and distribution processes? How damaging would technology bifurcation be to the global economy? And how might governments in this region position themselves for the opportunities and challenges ahead?




Dr. Khor is Chief Economist at ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). He oversees AMRO’s work on macroeconomic and financial market surveillance of its member economies, which comprise 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China (including Hong Kong), Japan and South Korea.

A renowned economist with more than 35 years of experience, prior to joining AMRO, Dr Khor was Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He also served as Assistant Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from 2001 to 2009, where he was responsible for economic research, monetary policy, macro-financial surveillance, and international relations.  Visit his personal webpage here.


 Mr. Bhaskaran is a Partner of Centennial Group International and the Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer of Centennial Asia Advisors. Mr. Bhaskaran has 40 years of expertise in economic and political risk assessment and forecasting in Asia. Before joining the Centennial Group, he was Chief Economist for Asia of a leading international investment bank and managed its Singapore-based economic advisory group. Mr. Bhaskaran is a well-regarded commentator on Asian financial and economic affairs, and has regular columns in business weeklies such as the Edge in Singapore/Malaysia. He serves as Member of the Regional Advisory Board for Asia of the International Monetary Fund; Senior Adjunct Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies; Council Member of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs; and Vice-President of the Economics Society of Singapore. Mr. Bhaskaran has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Cambridge University. He has also qualified as a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is based in Singapore. Visit his bio webpage here.

Donald LOW

Prof. Donald LOW is Professor of Practice of Public Policy at HKUST and Director of the Institute. View his bio webpage here.