International Economic Forum on Asia

Digitalisation and development: Reflections from Asia

Friday, 5th March 2021, 14:30-17:40 (IST) / 10:00-13:10 (CET)


Inaugural Session

Welcome Remarks: 

  • Seshadri Chari, Member, Governing Council, RIS
  • Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Centre
  • Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog

India Launch of the OECD Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2021: Reallocating resources for digitalisation -
Presentation of key findings - Kensuke Tanaka, Head of Asia Desk, OECD Development Centre.

Session I: Digitalisation and sectoral focus

How can various sectors in Asia –such as digital education, digital infrastructure, fintech and financial inclusion, as well as digital governance-- benefit from emerging technological possibilities? What policy and regulatory issues should governments address?

Chair: Nagesh Kumar, Director, UNESCAP, SSWA Office, New Delhi


  • Digital Transformation: Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi, India
  • Digital Education: Keshab Das, Professor, Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad, India
  • Digital Infrastructure: Miguel Exposito Verdejo, Deputy Head of Unit Science, Technology, Innovation and Digitalisation, DG International Partnerships, European Commission
  • Digitalisation and SMEs: Saikat Sinha Roy, Professor of Economics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
  • Digital Governance and Women: Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director, IT for Change, Bengaluru


Session II: Digital health

Health care has received extraordinary attention during COVID-19. As digital technologies open up new avenues for innovation in diagnostics and treatment, the sector is undergoing a profound transition. How can the potential of digital health care –which helped expand access to care when patients' access to traditional services was severely restricted-- be fully realised in Asian economies beyond the COVID-19 crisis?


ChairBhaskar Balakrishnan, Former Ambassador of India &Science Diplomacy Fellow, RIS


  • Antonio Villanueva, Senior Advisor for Healthcare Policy, ERIA
  • Pranjal Sharma, Economic Analyst & Writer, New Delhi  
  • Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, President, Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka (HISSL), Sri Lanka
  • Mongal Singh Gurung, Sr. Research Officer,Ministry of Health, Govt. of Bhutan
  • Muhammad Abdul Hannan Khan, Team Leader, Health Information Systems Program (HISP), Bangladesh

Concluding remarks

  • Priyadarshi Dash, Associate Professor, RIS
  • Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Centre