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Digital solutions have proven their worth in the pandemic. Even before that, platform solutions provided a new infrastructure for trade finance. Beyond the aspect of efficient settlement, mediating supply and demand is also a significant application area.

In a recent report published by Standard and Chartered Bank, Trade Finance corridors between India and South Korea are highlighted as some of the most promising and active in Asia.

Lower commodity prices and scarcer demand have been pushing some African countries into deeper recessions, especially those heavily depending on the export of metals and oil. According to GTR the risk of sovereign default has grown across countries in Africa because of currency risk and higher debt levels. In such a challenging environment, trade finance executives have urged MDBs (Multilateral Development Banks) to “intervene decisively” and increase risk appetite in the continent by providing credit support to banks.

The world economic crisis resulting from the pandemic has affected almost all countries in the world. The recovery is now expected in most regions, thanks to a catch up effect, expectations of a vaccine and very supportive fiscal policies.The crisis will nevertheless have lasting effects. It will bring or accelerate structural changes and will impact trade in several ways. Geopolitical tensions and a new US administration create further uncertainties. In this paper we briefly discuss some of these issues:

  • Changes in supply chains
  • Employment and consumption
  • Public deficits and “Zombie” companies
  • Geopolitical tensions
  • Biden administration
  • Oil and commodity prices
  • Conclusions

Over the past decade there has been a shift in strength between Western and Eastern banking. While Asia used to look at the West as an example of banking in terms of product and service innovation, the numbers recently shared in a research publication by McKinsey’s Future of Asia paints a different picture of the current situation.

Despite the challenging economic conditions, many Southeast Asian countries have been looking ahead optimistically while planning for recovery.

While dire news of Southeast Asian economies has lined newsfeeds the past months, many remain optimistic regarding the outlook of economic recovery. As global production lines recommence operations, the multiple sources predicts that countries in the region will rebound in the upcoming months.

After the collapse of oil trader Hin Leong and financial trouble at several other Singapore traders it was expected that banks in Singapore would tighten commodity financing practices.

Economic statistics for growth (or should we say contraction) look like something from another era: Eurozone -5,5%[i], advanced economies -6,1%[ii]. World merchandise trade volumes are expected to decrease between -13% and -32%, depending on the scenario laid out by the WTO[iii].

COVID-19 has shown to the world the true colors of centralizing manufacturing in one country, China. As the economy stopped during the first lockdown, corporates started considering the idea of distributing their manufacturing needs across the globe, mostly towards new emerging markets. That is, however, easier said than done.


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