Griffith and ADB host forum on Pacific Island COVID-19 impacts 

The 2020 Virtual Governors Forum, jointly hosted by Griffith University and the Asian Development Bank will feature South Pacific central bank Governors responding to questions from staff and key stakeholders, including Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group, IMF, DFAT, central banks of Australia and New Zealand, on critical issues relating to COVID-19 and its impact on the region’s financial and economic sectors.

The high-level regional dialogue will be held virtually on November 11 and it is expected the Governors will share their views on the extent and magnitude of the impact, plus thoughts on recovery and the process of rebuilding their economies 

Griffith Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Carolyn Evans said the University was always happy to promote greater understanding of the challenges facing the sector in the region.

“Griffith is proud to develop and facilitate an event with such important institutions as the RBA, RBNZ, World Bank Group, ADB, IMF and Australia-Pacific Business Council, to enable collaboration among the region’s central banks for the benefits of broader communities and their economies,” Professor Evans said.

ADB’s Director General-Pacific Department (Manila) Leah Gutierrez said it was a great opportunity to bring the region’s central banks together to share views and experiences relating to COVID-19.

“ADB is pleased to be a key partner in Griffith’s research and policy formulation capacity building initiatives and efforts for the South Pacific’s central banks,” she said.

Dr Parmendra Sharma

Forum convenor, Griffith Business School’s Dr Parmendra Sharmasaid the forum was a significant multi-level collaborative opportunity and the online mode made it possible for over 180 people to participate. 

“The purpose of the forum is to start high-level regional discussion culminating in research-based solutions for revival and inclusive and sustainable development the region’s economic and financial sectors post COVID19,” he said.   

The aim is to create an atmosphere that promotes information sharing and dialogue among the participants that will enable a regional and research-based approach to effectively mitigate the devastating impacts of the pandemic. 

Hon Alex Hawke MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, will deliver the forum’s keynote address, anticipated to focus around Australia’s deepening economic engagement in the Pacific as part of Australia’s ‘Pacific Step-Up’. 

I’m also excited to announce that one of the forum’s highlights will be an historic signing of a regional Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Griffith University and five South Pacific central bank partners,. Dr Sharma said.  

“The MOU is the culmination of five years of cooperation between Griffiths’ South Pacific Centre for Central Banking (SPCCB) and the central banks in developing research and policy formulation capacity in the region,” Loi Martin Bakani, Governor and Chairman of the Board of Bank of Papua New Guinea said. 

Griffith Business School’s Dr Parmendra Sharma, and colleagues from Griffith’s South Pacific Centre for Central Banking Dr Jen-Je Su and Associate Professor Tarlok Singh

Led by Dr Sharma and his Griffith Business School colleagues Dr Jen-Je Su and Associate Professor Tarlok Singh, SPCCB has been mentoring, coaching and guiding researchers from the central banks of PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Timor Leste in rigor and evidenced-based joint policy research working papers, which are published on Griffith and central bank websites 

The research issues cut across a broad spectrum and can be grouped into three main themes, being macroeconomics, financial development and stability and economic resilience.  

Starting in 2018, the joint working papers have been presented at the annual regional research conference, hosted in the region by the central banks.  

For information about the conference, including speakers and moderators, head online