Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Uncertainty Tests APEC’s Resilience Amid COVID-19, and Pivoting to a Circular Economy


About the Webinar

The webinar will discuss findings from the latest APEC Regional Trends Analysis (ARTA)—the flagship publication of the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU). It will begin with economic and trade trends in the APEC region in 2019, a period marked by a slowing down in growth due to uncertainty arising largely from trade and technology tensions. The COVID-19 outbreak in the first quarter of 2020, which necessitated the imposition of lockdown measures that brought economic activity to a near-standstill, is expected to translate into an economic contraction in the APEC region in the near-term, in tandem with the world. The region is projected to contract in 2020, and recover in 2021. The strength of the economic recovery in 2021 is predicated on the containment of the pandemic, the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policy support, and regional coordination.

It will then discuss the ARTA theme chapter on the Circular Economy. The waste we throw away has a tendency of coming back in our air, water and food, directly affecting our livelihoods, economy and health. The discussion will highlight a more sustainable production model — the circular economy — which minimises waste and optimises resource use by incorporating reuse, repurposing and recycling of materials into manufacturing and logistics. It will point to new business and trade opportunities provided by the circular economy in general and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Speakers

Denis Hew is the Director of PSU. Before taking up his current appointment, Dr Hew was Regional Cooperation Specialist at the Asian Development Bank, where he managed technical assistance and coordinated efforts on regional cooperation and integration in the Southeast Asia department. From 2001 to 2008, Dr Hew was Senior Fellow and Programme Coordinator (Regional Economic Studies) at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He was also for many years the Managing Editor of the ASEAN Economic Bulletin, a leading academic journal that focuses on policy-relevant economic issues in Southeast Asia. Dr Hew has written extensively on regional economic cooperation and integration, especially in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Denis Hew holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom and MSc and PhD in Finance from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Satvinderjit Kaur Singh is a Researcher of PSU. She holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Economics from the National University of Singapore. She previously interned at PSU, where she worked on structural reforms and related human capital development. Prior to that, she interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she analyzed the future demand of the port industry in Southeast Asia with a particular focus on Malaysia. Her research focus is in the areas of environmental issues, trade facilitation, connectivity and inclusion.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Set up a Zoom account, using the following link:
3. Click on the unique link in your email.

For the best experience, please mute your microphone. If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Jul 15 2020


10:00 am - 11:30 am