While the coronavirus may have caused more than 456,000 deaths across the globe (as of June 19th) and triggered widespread socio-economic damage, it’s fair to say that the pandemic has created a significant opportunity for growth in its aftermath.
More specifically, companies throughout the world are already investing in technology-led coronavirus recoveries, with a view to promoting concepts such as genuinely flexible working and achieving a competitive advantage in a brave new business world.
This approach is arguably most prevalent in Southeast Asia, where a number of nations are benefitting from huge international investment and competing to become the next ‘Silicon Valley’. But how exactly can Asian firms use this and different technologies to their advantage?
What are the Main Tech Hubs in Asia?
There are a number of thriving tech hubs in Asia, including well-known locations such as Singapore.
The government in Singapore is also making a concerted effort to invest in the digitalization of its economy, having recently announced the development of a new ‘Digital Office’ to help drive this process.
Asia is also seeing the emergence of new tech hubs such as Hong Kong, which is historically more synonymous with alternative business sectors.
However, its connections with South China and Shenzhen have recently enabled the region to attract thriving tech giants such as Facebook and Alibaba, who have expanded into the area and listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Hong Kong also announced the launch of its first-ever cryptocurrency fund through Venture Smart Asia of late, with this having set an initial target of having $100 million under management within 12 months.
How has Tech Changed Forex?
This leads us neatly onto the relationship between technology and forex trading, the latter of which is particularly commonplace in Southeast Asia thanks to the size and prevalence of the Asia-Pacific trading session.
In fact, Asia is home to three of the top five forex exchanges across the globe, with Singapore (7.6%), Hong Kong (7.6%) and Japan (4.5%) accounting for nearly 20% of the marketplace as a whole.
Of course, technology has changed the forex market markedly over the course of the last two decades, particularly when you consider the rise of online and mobile brokerage platforms.
Make no mistake; these entities have empowered Asian traders (both retail and institutional) to access what remains a truly global marketplace in real-time while enabling them to minimize commission costs and increase both the volume and profitability of their portfolios over time.
The emergence of the MetaTrader4 platform represents one of the most seminal developments for Asian-based traders, as this combines real-time market access with customizable charts and a comprehensive suite of analytical tools.
This powerful software has also empowered various fintech startups in Asia, by removing many of the barriers to entry that one surrounded the forex market and minimizing the capital that traders need to operate.
We must also note that artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly prevalent in forex trading, especially in the field of automated and high-frequency trading. Regions such as Beijing are also leading the way in this field, so it makes sense this technology should have a natural home in Asia.