August 14, 2020

[Webinar] Standard Chartered H2 Outlook 2020 – The Aftershock

    
On Thursday the 13th of August, EuroCham held a webinar with Standard Chartered Bank and about 60 attendees to discuss about the outlook of the market on the second half of the year 2020 with the serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. EuroCham Vice Chairman Ywert Visser hosted the event, which also featured special guest speakers from Standard Chartered Bank Mr. Nirukt Sapru – CEO, Vietnam, ASEAN & South Asia Cluster Markets; Mr. Edward Lee – Chief Economist, ASEAN and South Asia, Mr. Chidu Narayanan – Economist, Asia; Mr. Divya Devesh – Head of ASA FX Research.
     
    
Introducing the event, Mr. Ywert Visser described how COVID-19 is a global problem and one which touches all corners of the world. From the direct impact on health to its economic, social and political consequences, the pandemic has the potential to reshape countries and economies across the globe. Vietnam although has been successful in fighting against the pandemic, we are also facing with the second wave of the pandemic coming back starting from Da Nang. In response, Mr. Nirukt Sapru has also started his opening remarks from the views of Standard Chartered by the impacts of the COVID -19 and expectation for recovery of the economy.

     

    
    
The presentation later starts from the view of Mr. Edward Lee – Chief Economist, ASEAN and South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Branch about the economic outlook – aftershock. In his presentation, Mr. Edward Lee remarked that the H2 of 2020 is the worst time growth since 1930s – a great depression. Although the worst is likely over, the recovery may come in fits and starts. The Deadweight loss to global growth in 2020 is unlikely to be recoupled in the near term.
     
     

However, the downside risks in H2 -2020 is that the second wave of infections may delay to return the economy to the normality. Furthermore, US Presidential Election is a key geopolitical risk which may indirectly affect US-China tensions. 
From the view of Standard Chartered Bank, only Vietnam and Bangladesh may register positive growth in 2020. Q2 GDP contraction may be the worst on record for most ASA economies.
 
Followed by the presentation of Mr. Edward Lee, Mr. Chidu Narayanan – Economist, Asia Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Branch gave a further look on the economic situation of Vietnam. In general, Vietnam’s growth is likely to rebound in H2, following by a decent H1. After the social distancing period, activity has rebounded after sharp decline. However, FDI inflows are expected to drop from current levels.
    
        
Mr. Divya Devesh – Head of ASA FX Research continued the presentations by giving a further eye on the current global’s financial situation. The USD has lost significant interest rate support vs the rest of the G10. Save- haven demand is the biggest USD plus, and is fading because of central bank policy.  The US election’s impact on the economy and financial markets are greatly significant.
    
    

Later, in the Q&A session, participants discussed issues including impacts of US election's result on Vietnam; which industries so far have a positive impact with this pandemic around the world, and Vietnam specifically; prospects for economic recovery in Vietnam and other major international markets; and what a “new normal”, post-pandemic economy might look like.
During these times of COVID-19, EuroCham will continue to keep our members updated on new developments in the business environment here in Vietnam through webinars such as this one. However, due to technical restrictions, the number of guests is limited to 100. So, please follow us on social media and check our e-bulletin each week to be first-in-line to register for future webinars.
   

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