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Covid herd immunity in Asia will catalyse comeback of travel industry: World Govt Summit

Dubai - Co-founder of Infosys says Asian economies will recover quicker from the Covid pandemic.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Tue 9 Mar 2021, 9:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Mar 2021, 9:34 PM

Provided the pace of the vaccination drive is increased so the region arrives at a herd immunity, Asia’s economic recovery is not far away, said Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys. Nilekani stated Asian economies will recover quicker from the Covid-19 pandemic, than most other continents, as it plays a leading role in building digital infrastructure.

Also read: Travellers gaining confidence with vaccine rollout, safety measures

Speaking during a virtual session at the World Government Summit Dialogues (WGS Dialogues), moderated by Samir Saran, president of the Observer Research Foundation Nilekani said he expects Asia’s tourism, travel and hospitality sectors will witness a boom in next few months.

He said, “The recovery will come from the consumers. I see a burst of consumption across the region, and that’s very good news in terms of creating economic opportunities and boosting consumer confidence.”

“If we can distribute vaccines throughout Asia as quickly as possible, we will be able to achieve community immunity that precedes any new mutations in the virus. This step will enable everyone to return to normal life and revitalize travel and tourism,” Nilekani added.

The Infosys co-founder identified the globalisation of services as an area of priority for governments, if they are to lead their nations forwards. “The pandemic may have put some kind of limits on the globalization of goods, because some governments have wanted to put trade barriers between nations. But the globalization of services has accelerated, it’s an area where governments will have to invest,” he explained to Saran.

Nilekani explained, as the geopolitics of technology shifts rapidly, the key for Asian countries is to invest in more in strategic digital architecture. “One of the things we’ve learned in the last 20 years is that if you don’t plan your digital infrastructure properly, you will see winner-take-all and monopoly models emerging. Countries around the world – US, China, Australia, India, are dealing with this now. But you need a digital architecture which creates innovation, competition, interoperability.”

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