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Series

Vietnam’s process of structural transformation continues, with increasing reallocation of labor and economic activities among agriculture, industry, and services. However, the GDP contribution of agriculture remains high at 17%. Recommendations to speed up the transformation include greater synchronization of productivity and innovation policies involving cross-ministerial coordination, encouragement of innovative firms, and gaining maximum benefit from the relatively numerous FDI enterprises operating in the country.

     

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The second country to record a COVID-19 case, Thailand’s response and degree of public cooperation with mitigation measures were exemplary. Those measures, however, also brought underlying inequalities related to education, informal/migratory workers, and reliance on the tourism-related sector into focus. A framework to assess the pandemic’s impacts on socioeconomic factors was developed by the authors, who conclude that overcoming the digital divide, especially in education and employment, is critical for future development.

               

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Dr. Ascuncion pinpoints country-specific features widening economic, gender, and digital divides in the Philippines during the pandemic. It has a young population, the service sector accounts for approximately 60% of employment, the internet penetration rate is >72%, and overseas Filipino workers contribute some 10% of GDP. Nonstandard employment is common, and pandemic restrictions have disproportionately affected the poor and women who juggle paid/unpaid work, employment inequalities, and family responsibilities. Government and other policy measures for the way forward are suggested.

     

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This research was undertaken to show how the current gaps and weaknesses in systems for monitoring agricultural productivity in APO member countries could be addressed. The comprehensive report analyzes agricultural performance and productivity trends with data from 1961 to 2015. It paves the way for the establishment of a harmonized APO regional database on agricultural productivity indicators for benchmarking and long-term monitoring, which will help design appropriate programs to support the needs of the sector in the APO membership.

         

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