COVID-19 remains biggest challenge for Southeast Asia in 2021: survey hinh anh 1Vietnamese people wear face mask to prevent COVID-19. (Photo: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) - The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts remain the largest challenges for the Southeast Asian region in 2021, according to the State of Southeast Asia 2021 survey report announced by the ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute on February 10.

A total 1,032 respondents from ten ASEAN member states participated in the online survey which drew from five categories of affiliation: academia/research, business/finance, government, civil-society/non-governmental/media and regional/international organisations.
The Southeast Asia is preoccupied with the COVID-19 and recovery process. Seventy-six percent of the respondents believed that the threat to health from COVID-19 is currently the region’s most pressing concern. Meanwhile, unemployment and economic recession came second (63 percent), followed by the socio-economic gaps and income disparity (40.7 percent).
The majority of Southeast Asians (60.7 percent) approve of their governments’ response to the pandemic.

In terms of COVID-19 fight leadership, respondents vote almost equally for Singapore (32.7 percent) and Vietnam (31.1 percent) for providing best leadership to ASEAN.

ASEAN continues to express concerns over the East Sea issue, and regional people said the issue should be settle based on respect of international law./.