Creative economic solutions devised to cope with COVID-19

Saturday, 2020-07-18 18:10:03
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Passersby wearing protective face masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), are reflected in mirrors at a shopping center in Tokyo, Japan March 26, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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NDO – Leaders of many Asian countries have devised numerous plans to stimulate their economies, ensuring people's lives and helping businesses adapt to the new normal situation.

Nearly half a year since the “toxic wind” of the COVID-19 epidemic swept across the region, many governments in Asia have implemented bailout packages to rescue theirhardest hit industries, such as tourism, food and beverage, retail...

In Japan, a subsidy campaign has been prepared to support the “shrinking” tourism industry. Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has recently announced that Japan will deploy a subsidy campaign from July 22 to promote tourism activities in Japan amidst concerns about the risk of a furtheroutbreak.

Accordingly, the Government of Japan will provide up to US$190 per person per night for accommodation and US$95 per day, including travel expenses for tourists.

The Thai government also recently launched policies to rescue the tourism industry. The Government has approved stimulus packages worth US$716.8 million to promote domestic tourism, with the goal of stimulating about 2 million domestic tours in the third quarter of 2020. This domestic stimulus package includes allowances for accommodation, transportation, meals, and entrance fees at attractions.

Meanwhile, in India, in addition to economic stimulus policies, the government has been paying special attention to supporting rural job creation. After India imposed a nationwide lockdown in March this year to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, about 100 million migrant workers fell into unemployment, temporarily returning to their home towns to make a living.

In this context, creating jobs for rural workers is a must-do task right now, so Prime Minister N. Modi has launched the Poor Welfare Employment Campaign valued at about US$6.7 billion. The campaign will focus on building roads, houses, setting up a system of supply of electricity and gas, etc. These projects will give priority to ensuringemployment for migrant workers.

In another Asian country, Singapore, the government has quickly turned challenges into opportunities inaccelerating the process of digital transformation, in the context of people having to implement social distance.

The E-Commerce Booster Package has been launched to provide consulting services, human resource support and costs for small and medium-sized businesses with little or no e-commerce experience, to help them adapt their businesses to online sales.

It is believed that such creative solutions launched by some countries in Asia could help people, businesses and economies to stand up and rise strongly after the severe crisis.