Host: Deepesh Patel (DP), Editor, Trade Finance Global

Featuring: Alicia García Herrero, Chief Economist, Asia Pacific, Natixis; Adjunct Professor, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology; Senior Fellow, Bruegel

Asian economies, helped by friendly regulatory regimes and bullish investment in technology platforms, have often led the way globally when it comes to buoyant trade growth forecasts. However, the blow dealt by the Covid-19 pandemic risks many previously booming economies entering a recession.

With the length and intensity of the downturn, today we’ll be considering the implications across a range of countries and also key industries, as well as considering the risk of more isolationist trade policies and trends such as ‘techno-nationalism’.

TFG heard from Asia Pacific Chief Economist of Natixis at GTR Asia, Alicia Garcia Herrero, also Adjunct Professor, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, to discuss some of these key themes:

  • How has Covid-19 impacted growth in key Asian markets, given their rally in recent years? How does this compare on real versus relative terms?
  • What sectors have fared the best and been the most resilient? (e.g. energy, financial services, tourism)
  • Are there any particular ‘winners’ or ‘losers’ in Asia or could we see many markets enter into a recession in the coming months?
  • Was the massive government stimulus, in South Korea, Japan, Singapore and in many other Asian markets necessary, and will governments need to dig deeper?
  • We’ve seen the rise of Global Value Chains all around the world, but particularly in Asia. What’s the role of China in these supply chains and are other markets competing for market share?
  • How has the US China trade war, isolationist trade policies, and the rise of techno-nationalism impacted Asian markets and how are they responding?
  • We’ve also seen a plethora of commodity finance banks pulling out of the market, particularly in Singapore, following a string of frauds. Do you think this could have a longer term impact on commodity trading and commodity finance?
  • What do you think we can expect from this region in the coming months, and have you at the bank changed growth forecasts for the near to medium term future?