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Recovery prospects seen boosted by regional R&D, climate change collaboration


REGIONAL collaboration in research and development (R&D) and technology to mitigate climate change is expected to drive economic recovery, by making products and investment projects more viable, executives said at a virtual conference.

“Cross-border collaboration is vital… We look more broadly as to how we can further collaboration. People-to-people exchanges will lead to a greater degree of trust,” Nikhil Sawhney, vice-chairman and managing director of Indian energy equipment manufacturer Triveni Turbines Ltd. said on Tuesday at the Asian Association of Management Organisations conference.  

“I believe certain areas in terms of research and development has become a fast changing and important area for building reliable products and there needs to be a diversified base of talent. There is a world of technology and collaboration through R&D to establish platforms and standards would allow a greater degree of prosperity. It will also help bridge and build a more resilient ecosystem,” he added.

Pakistan Cables Ltd. Chief Executive Fahd K. Chinoy said that Asia needs to collaborate on climate financing, as the changing climate is one of the most pressing risks the region faces.

“The pandemic was a wakeup call. Climate change is definitely happening, and the horizon is pretty clear. It is key to build financial incentives for countries to shift into a carbon-neutral direction… There must be sort of financial incentive,” he said.

“Each country needs to build resilience around their food security and water situation. It’s all connected. There needs to be a collective narrative where the voice of the region is strongly felt, opposed to just one country. If we could collectively as a region, make more noise that would make more of an impact,” he added. 

Mr. Chinoy added: “There’s no reason why we can’t collaborate at a regional level. There could be opportunities to network. There’s no restriction on learning, which is a good starting point,” he added.

Mr. Chinoy also cited best practices that can be adapted in other countries.

“Pakistan was lucky with how the pandemic impacted us. The (infection) numbers were relatively better globally and in the region. The government acted quite fast and… subsidized financing for imported equipment, (which) encouraged investments in future projects,” he said. 

“The government also ensured no job losses, (providing) subsidized financing to keep people on versus letting people go. We kept unemployment relatively under control,” he added.

Mr. Sawhney also cited India’s own strategy in mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

“India’s government took a progressive view that there (should be) business continuity for essential industries; at the same time they took a humanitarian view and provided reassurances in terms of access to food and health,” he said.

“Now having come through it, the country managed well in terms of liquidity. It has the flexibility to use monetary measures to navigate through crises,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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