The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was finally signed on Sunday November 15, on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). As well as marking a significant regional milestone, it is hoped that this deal will help its 15 signatories recover from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
While many Gulf nations were already working to diversify their economies prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the subsequent economic downturn and collapse in oil prices has meant that governments in the region have had to reassess and – in some cases – accelerate their strategic plans.
Indonesia’s Omnibus Bill on Job Creation became law in October, with the government set to complete its implementation by the end of the year. While it has proved controversial in some quarters, many business leaders have welcomed this development, not least for its potential to help the economy offset the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Debt management has become a key challenge for many emerging markets as the coronavirus pandemic continues, with major creditors debating the suspension and perhaps even reduction of debt.
As many countries turn to debt to help fund their recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic, an increasing number of governments and companies are looking at sustainability-focused financial instruments such as green bonds to fund major projects.
While the coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on many businesses throughout 2020, a recent rebound in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has pointed towards a partial recovery in investor sentiment – as well as demonstrating that certain sectors have taken on greater importance as a result of Covid-19.