Asia-Pacific Regional Seminar

A Multi-Speed Recovery – the IMF’s Outlook for Asia and the Pacific

The IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP) hosted a webinar to present the IMF’s latest economic outlook for the Asia-Pacific region, highlights from the global outlook, and related analytical work. The event drew on the recently released report, IMF Regional Economic Outlook Asia and Pacific, that discusses economic developments, prospects, and analytical studies on the impact of COVID-19. OAP Director Chikahisa Sumi discussed economic developments and prospects. Two economists from the IMF Asia and Pacific Department discussed the analytical chapters on the effect of containment and related policy measures on health outcomes and economic activity and the distributional consequences of the crisis and policies to mitigate these effects. The speakers then discussed lessons learned from COVID-19 lockdowns and exits in Asia and the impact of COVID-19 on inequality and social stability in the region.

Program, November 5, 2020

11:00-11:05 am

Welcome Remarks
Chikahisa Sumi
, Director, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, IMF

11:05-11:30 am 

A Multi-Speed Recovery in Asia

Chikahisa Sumi, Director, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, IMF




COVID-19 Lockdowns and Exits in Asia: Some Lessons

Pragyan Deb
, Economist, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF


11:45–12:00 pm

COVID-19 and Inequality in Asia: Risks of Social Unrest?

Irina Yakadina, Senior Economist, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF



Q&A session

Speakers’ bios

  • Chikahisa Sumi, Director, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, IMFChikahisa Sumi is the Director of the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP). He has worked on Asia and the Pacific countries for seven years in the IMF, including leading missions to the Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand and Fiji. He also headed the Financial Sector Surveillance Group of the Asia and Pacific Department (APD), and led the Future of Asia’s Finance project, including the publication of “The Future of Asian Finance” book in 2015. Before returning to the IMF, Mr. Sumi held key positions in the Japanese Government, including Deputy Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, and Deputy Commissioner of the Financial Services Agency. He also headed Japan’s Debt Management Office, and acquired many friends among financial market participants through intensive dialogue with them. Born in Osaka, Japan, Chikahisa holds a LL.B. from the University of Tokyo (1982) and an MBA from Harvard University (1986), where his friends started to call him Chuck. Married, one daughter, and enjoys various types of fishing.
  • Irina Yakadina, Senior Economist, Asia and Pacific Department, IMFIrina Yakadina is a Senior Economist at the Regional Studies Division of the IMF Asia and Pacific Department. Since joining the Fund in 2002, Irina worked in various IMF departments including the African, European, and Fiscal Affairs departments, and the IMF Institute for Capacity Development. Her work involved modeling and macroeconomic forecasting for the euro area and its four largest economies. She was a desk on Spain and a fiscal desk on Belgium, France, and Nicaragua. Irina’s research and publications focused on optimal fiscal and monetary policy. Irina earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.
  • Pragyan Deb, Economist, Asia and Pacific Department, IMFPragyan Deb is an economist in the IMF Asia and Pacific Department’s Regional Surveillance Division and the desk economist for Myanmar. Prior to this, he was in the IMF’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department, working on IMF lending and surveillance policies, emerging market issues, macro-financial spillovers and policy frameworks to address external shocks. He was also part of the team working on the IMF’s financing arrangement with Mongolia and has done surveillance work on a varied set of countries, including China, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Saudi Arabia. He has contributed to multilateral surveillance through the analytical chapters of the Global Financial Stability Report and Regional Economic Outlooks. Before joining the IMF, he worked on macroprudential policy and banking regulation at the Bank of England. He holds a PhD in Finance from the London School of Economics.