11 December 2020
Prompt responses to the pandemic provided a role model for other countries while Asia’s exporters are meeting demand from still-restricted economies elsewhere. The region’s ability to trade as a multilateral bloc is the other accelerator of the recovery, report flow’s Janet du Chenne and Graham Buck
As a headline it was brutal, but accurate. “Asia leads, US bleeds in economic divergence” declared the Asia Times on 2 December. As the paper observed, the economic recovery disparity between North Asia and the rest of the world –increasingly evident in H2 2020 – owes much to their differing responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nowhere is this more evident than in reports that the share of the US population testing positive for coronavirus increased fivefold between mid-September and the end of November, while Asia’s infection rates declined from already minimal levels.
Back in April, flow noted in the article “Covid-19: The economy after Wuhan” how China’s immediate 76-day lockdown imposed in Hubei Province had limited the spread of the virus, while prompt action taken by the authorities in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan had restricted the number of infections. Eight months on, the difference in the figures for Covid-19 new infections and deaths for these regions and much of the rest of the world is striking.
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