The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every country around the world in a manner not seen since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, and is perhaps one of the most transformative events in decades. Most countries and governments have played catch-up to the pandemic, trying to get a handle on case numbers after an explosive increase. But a few places: Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam and China appear to have kept the virus largely under control.
Confronting COVID-19: A Strategic Playbook for Leaders and Decision Makers (Marshall Cavendish International Asia, 2020) by Devadas Krishnadas is one of the first attempts to seriously study the public responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as plot out some of the possible economic, geopolitical and social changes that may arise. More information on the book can be found on its official microsite.
In this interview, Mr. Devadas and I talk about what policies worked to control COVID, how the region will develop, and how business and social operations might change as a result of the pandemic. We also talk about how recent events since the book’s publication affect its conclusions.
Devadas Krishnadas is CEO of the Future-Moves Group, with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He previously held senior positions in the Singapore government, such as in the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Home Affairs. “Confronting COVID-19” is his fifth book.
Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.