Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Mixed Growth amid Heightened Uncertainty



About the Seminar

The seminar will discuss findings from the latest APEC Regional Trends Analysis (ARTA)—the flagship publication of the APEC Policy Support Unit. It will begin with economic and trade trends in the APEC region during the first half of 2018: this period was marked by continuing economic growth amid a backdrop of heightened uncertainty due to escalating trade tensions and a new normal of higher global interest rates. The region is expected to maintain robust growth in 2018, but growth is projected to moderate in 2019‒2020. The balance of risks has tilted to the downside due to prolonged and heightened policy uncertainty and trade tensions as well as higher inflation, greater-than-expected China slowdown, and episodes of financial market volatility. On the upside, growth potential could come from a continued pick-up in global economic activity translating to sustained strength in domestic consumption.

It will then discuss the ARTA theme chapter on Digital Productivity Paradox. Digital technology has improved by leaps and bounds, making productive tasks easier and more efficient. But despite these advances, economists have observed a downward trend in labour productivity growth in the past two decades. The discussion explores why improvements in digital technology are not translating to labour productivity growth, finding that industrial-era institutions and policies may need to be adjusted for a digital economy. It points to the importance of structural reforms, infrastructure development, and reskilling to adapt to the digital age.

About the Speaker

Mr Emmanuel A. San Andres
APEC Policy Support Unit, Singapore
Emmanuel A. San Andres is an Analyst of APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU). His research focus is in the areas of economic development and inclusive growth, human capital development, and labour and employment. He has also done studies on urbanisation, remote area development, and tourism.

Prior to joining PSU, Mr San Andres was an Economics Officer at the Economics and Research Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila mainly working on poverty, inequality, food security, and social sector issues such as health, education, and employment. He also worked as a consultant for ADB, World Bank, and various non-government organisations. He has conducted research on migration and remittances, economic development, taxation, and public policy. He holds a Master of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines School of Economics.

Ms Rhea C. Hernando
APEC Policy Support Unit, Singapore
Rhea C. Hernando is a Researcher of APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU). Her research focus is in the areas of macroeconomics, trade and investment, financial markets and monetary policy, and women’s economic participation.

Prior to joining PSU, Ms Hernando was a Bank Officer at the Department of Economic Research of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), working on financial markets and monetary policy. She also worked as a policy evaluation officer and researcher at various academic, international, and government institutions. She holds a Master of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics at the University of the Philippines School of Economics.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 8 February 2019.


Feb 11 2019


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2