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.

Thehigh-levelregional dialoguewill be heldvirtuallyon November 11and it is expectedthe Governors will share their views on the extent and magnitude of the impact, plusthoughts on recoveryandthe 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)LeahGutierrez 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’sDrParmendraSharma,saidthe forum was a significantmulti-level collaborativeopportunityandthe online mode made it possible for over 180 people to participate.

“Thepurpose of the forumistostart high-level regional discussionculminating inresearch-based solutionsforrevivalandinclusive and sustainabledevelopmentthe region’s economic and financial sectors post COVID19,” he said.

Theaim is tocreate an atmosphere that promotes information sharing and dialogue among the participants that will enable a regionaland research-based approach to effectively mitigate the devastating impacts ofthe pandemic.

HonAlex Hawke MP,Minister for International Development and the Pacific,will deliverthe forum’skeynote address, anticipated tofocusaroundAustralia’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 anhistoric signing of a regional Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)between GriffithUniversityand five South Pacific central bank partners,.Dr Sharma said.

“TheMOU istheculmination offiveyears of cooperation between Griffiths’ South Pacific Centre for Central Banking (SPCCB) and thecentralbanks in developing research and policy formulation capacityin the region,”Loi Martin Bakani, Governor and Chairman of the Board of Bank of Papua New Guineasaid.

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 Sharmaand his Griffith Business SchoolcolleaguesDr Jen-JeSuand Associate ProfessorTarlokSingh, SPCCB has been mentoring, coaching and guiding researchers from the central banks of PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands,VanuatuandTimor Leste in rigor and evidenced-basedjointpolicy research working papers, which are published on Griffith and central bank websites

Theresearchissues cut across a broad spectrumand can begrouped into three main themes, beingmacroeconomics, financial development and stability and economic resilience.

Startingin 2018, the joint working papershave beenpresented at the annual regional research conference, hostedin the regionby the central banks.

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