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Pacific Currents

Pacific Currents is a discussion forum on Asia-Pacific economic issues. We welcome submissions from all stakeholders including academics, researchers, thought-leaders, civil society, business leaders; and other policy experts. Submissions should cover issues related to economic policy and integration in the region. Articles should be written for a general audience and not technical but should have a foundation in objective policy analysis. Articles should also conform with PECC nomenclature - if you are not familiar, the editor will provide you with appropriate guidelines. Acceptance of articles is entirely at the discretion of the Editor. Articles should be in an op-ed format of around 1000 words but longer submissions are also occasionally accepted. Submissions are done in the name of the author and represent their individual opinions and not those of the institutions that they work for. To submit an article, please send in Word format to:

The small virus

Diego Solis Rodriguez
Mexican Council on Foreign Relations, Young Associate.
Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales
a Next Generation Delegate to the XXII PECC General Meeting.

The coronavirus has prompted an unintended global experiment. The pandemic has turned international affairs into a vast laboratory. Today, we can identify some of its experiments: the global response to the pandemic; multilateralism and international cooperation; American leadership; the influence of China; the "purpose" of the European Union; climate change and the urgency of "green transition"; digital trade; and the return of the state towards democracy and freedom, to name a few.

To say that the virus is a failure of globalization is a simplistic statement. Globalization is a rather complex phenomenon for which it cannot be entirely blamed. In short, it is a multi-sectorial process that can be shaped in different ways.

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Lessons from Kronavirus: Is Sweden’s anti-lockdown approach more strategic than it seems?

Scott Young
Former director of ideas and insights at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship
Next Generation Delegate to the XX PECC General Meeting.


Scott Young: Sweden's unorthodox strategy has been rightly criticized, but it's too early to condemn an approach that's focused on the long game and public trust


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COVID-19 has Exposed Major Gaps in our Social Safety Nets: In a Post-COVID World Will these Gaps be Closed?

Hugh Stephens
Vice Chair, Canadian National Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation (CANCPEC)
Distinguished Fellow, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Executive Fellow, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary


The onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought into question many long-held assumptions about how we interact socially, conduct business and deal with marginalized segments of our society. Policy makers have faced a series of challenges from first trying to ensure the health and safety of citizens to then dealing with the economic fallout of the social distancing and self-isolation measures that have been widely imposed to fight the pandemic. There has been much speculation on how COVID-19 will impact our policy settings as the world emerges from total lockdown and moves into what may the first of several post-COVID phases. While much of the focus has been on economic measures, in Canada the sudden arrival of COVID-19 has exposed holes that already existed in our social safety net. Governments in Canada1 have moved to deal with these gaps out of necessity as part of the requirement to contain the epidemic, but the real question will be the extent to which these interim response measures will remain in place once the threat of COVID-19 subsides.

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COVID-19: Experiences from best practices in Asia show a path forward in the fight against the coronavirus

Jeffrey Reeves
Vice-President of Research for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada


Zodov Dolgor has been in self-quarantine since January.

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Wuhan Dispatch: Part 2: Sharing Best Practices Around Testing and Treatment

Jeffrey Reeves
Vice-President of Research for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada


On April 8th, more than 50 physicians, logisticians, and head administration officials from Vancouver Coastal Health and from across British Columbia had a conference call with doctors and nurses from Central Hospital in Wuhan, China – arguably the first responders on the front line of the global war against COVID-19.

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Wuhan Dispatch: Part 1: Establishing a Dialogue Between Canadian and Chinese Health-care Professionals

Jeffrey Reeves
Vice-President of Research for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada


On March 26, more than 25 physicians from Vancouver Coastal Health had a conference call with doctors and nurses in Wuhan, China – arguably the first responders on the frontline of the global war against COVID-19. The call was the first of several designed for Vancouver health-care professionals to learn from China’s experience around pandemic response and mitigation. Over the course of 45 minutes, China’s doctors and nurses spoke about the challenges, best practices, and experiences they have had in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

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Multilateral Cooperation is a Safeguard against Pandemics

Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria
Executive Director, APEC Secretariat


Last month, G20 leaders released a statement advocating for a spirit of solidarity in the global response against COVID-19. In these dire times, it is a call that should be heeded well beyond their membership.

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