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The 81st World Bank Group Morning Seminar “South Asia Economic Focus: Beaten or Broken? – Informality and COVID-19”

October 23, 2020

Tokyo, Japan

MULTIMEDIA

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  • South Asia is set to plunge into its worst-ever recession as the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the region’s economies linger on, taking a disproportionate toll on informal workers and pushing millions of South Asians into extreme poverty, says the World Bank in its twice-a-year-regional update “South Asia Economic Focus: Beaten or Broken? – Informality and COVID-19”. The report forecasts a sharper than expected economic slump across the region, with regional growth expected to contract by 7.7 percent in 2020, after topping 6 percent annually in the past five years. India’s economy, the region’s largest, is expected to contract by 9.6 percent in the fiscal year that started in March 2020. Regional growth is projected to rebound to 4.5 percent in 2021. Factoring in population growth, however, income-per-capita in the region will remain 6 percent below 2019 estimates, indicating that the expected rebound will not offset the lasting economic damage caused by the pandemic.

    At this morning seminar, Siddharth Sharma, Senior Economist and Valerie Mercer-Blackman, Senior Economist, Office of Chief Economist for South Asia, At this morning seminar, Siddharth Sharma, Senior Economist and Valerie Mercer-Blackman, Senior Economist, Office of Chief Economist for South Asia, presented the report’s main findings.

    Date/Time:

    8am-9am, Friday October 23, 2020 (Japan Standard Time)

     

    Speakers

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    Siddharth Sharma
    Senior Economist, Office of Chief Economist for South Asia, World Bank

    Siddharth Sharma is a Senior Economist in the Finance, Innovation and Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank. His main areas of interest relate to the microeconomic determinants of growth, including firm-level productivity, innovation, product and factor market regulation, and labor markets.

    Since joining the World Bank as Young Professional in 2010, Siddharth has worked on a range of analytical and operational projects on these issues in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and currently, South Asia. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and he has also contributed chapters to several World Bank policy reports, including the 2017 World Development Report on “Governance and the Law”.
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    Valerie Mercer-Blackman
    Senior Economist, Office of Chief Economist for South Asia, World Bank

    Valerie Mercer-Blackman is a Senior Economist at the South Asia Office of the Chief Economist, currently focusing on policy-based research and regional trends in South Asia. Her recent published research focuses on diversification, trade FDI productivity in services and global value chains. Her past analytical work includes growth drivers, investment and fiscal issues in developing countries, particularly commodity exporters. Previously she worked as a macroeconomist at the Asian Development Bank; at the Caribbean Department of the Inter-American Development Bank and on Latin America at the International Monetary Fund. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.

    Presentation material: South Asia Economic Focus Fall 2020 (PDF)

     

    Related Seminars

    World Bank Group Morning Seminar

EVENT DETAILS

  • DATE/TIME: Friday October 23, 2020, 8:00am-9:00am (JST)
  • LANGUAGE: English (no interpretation to Japanese)
  • CONTACT: Koichi Omori, World Bank Tokyo TEL: 03-3597-6650
  • komori@worldbankgroup.org