The Asia Pacific region has provided the backdrop to many of our industry’s most significant events over the course of the past year. Chief among those have been the slew of fraud cases that have emerged in Singapore in the last few months. GTR has been keeping a close eye on these developments, and our coverage of the recent high-profile scandals involving the likes of Agritrade International, Hin Leong, ZenRock, Hontop and Sugih Energy have consistently been among the most widely read stories on the GTR site.

The annual GTR+ Asia publication provides the perfect opportunity to round up what we’ve learned so far from each of these cases. Our commodity finance feature takes a look at what’s gone wrong, how banks are seeking to recoup their losses and whether companies can protect themselves from similar deceptions going forward.

Elsewhere in the region, China has continued to make GTR headlines this year. Our coverage ranges from its tensions with the US – which have escalated since the outbreak of the virus, despite the progress that both sides are reportedly seeing on the back of the phase one trade deal that came into effect in February – to the progress made on its Belt and Road Initiative and Made in China 2025 strategies. In this publication we investigate the post-pandemic recovery of China’s manufacturing sector, a widespread move towards supply chain diversification across the globe, and how those trends could impact the historic dominance of the Asia Pacific region’s trading superpower.

Also in this issue, we recount the views of a group of influential regional trade leaders, who we gathered together (virtually) on the sidelines of our GTR Asia 2020 event to discuss the impact of the pandemic on access to finance and the role that trade can play in facilitating the ESG agenda, amongst other topics. In that report and in a dedicated feature, we delve deeper into the progress being made across Asia with regard to the digitalisation of trade.

The effects of Covid-19 on Asian countries’ trade flows and volumes form a focal point of our Asia Trade Briefing, as does the impact of the US-China trade conflict, both of which are creating significant – but different – disruptive influences on the region.

We close out the publication with a detailed overview of the region’s top countries of economic interest, providing a snapshot of their historic and projected trade flows, including the largest import and export sectors and cross-border trading partners.