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Ongoing Activities

World Trade Organisation

In 2003 the WTO convened an Expert Group on Trade Finance to track the progress in this area. The group meets as needed and reports to WTO Members through the Director-General and Secretariat. Since 2005, longer-term efforts to boost trade finance for developing countries through better infrastructure for supplying trade finance, such as the development of competitive banks and export credit agencies, have been carried out under the Aid-for-Trade mandate. WTO undertook a study on trade finance and SMEs with the support of World Bank, and of existing trade finance facility programs of the multilateral and regional development banks.

International Chamber of Commerce

The ICC launched publications, including the annual Global Survey on Trade Finance, which provides an overview of the major regional and global trends in trade and trade finance, covering issues related to the trade finance gap, access to finance, export finance and supply chain finance. Recently it was also focussed on digitisation, new technologies blockchain and FinTech and their implications for the industry.

The ICC Trade Registers, presents the global trade finance industry’s outlook on the risks of defaults in trade finance. It also simulates the regulatory capital requirements for different trade finance product types. ICC’s publication Standard Definitions for Techniques of Supply Chain Finance is a cross-industry initiative to address the global need for a common understanding of terminology, nomenclature and techniques related to supply chain finance.

The Wolfsberg Group Trade Finance Principles outline the standards for the control of financial crime risks (FCRs) associated with trade finance activities. They are jointly published by the Wolfsberg Group, the Banking Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce and the BAFT (an international banking association).

Group of 20

The G20 proposed a trade finance package at its 2009 London Summit, which consisted of commitments which allow for greater co-lending and risk co-sharing between banks and international and national institutions. Recently, in the G20 trade ministers meeting statement which took place 9-10 July 2016 in Shanghai, the G20 called for enhancing trade finance. It underlined that trade financing gaps hamper trade and economic growth. Gaps are highest among the poorest countries, notably in Africa, developing Asia and Small island developing States where access to know-how and skills in handling trade finance instruments is also a challenge.

Development finance institutions and export credit agencies

Several multilateral development banks, including the Asian Development Bank, have initiated knowledge products to document and disaggregate the gap per geographical region and other variables of interest, including per affected groups such as the MSMEs. They have introduced and strengthened credit finance programs to help close the trade market gaps.

The Global Network of Export-Import Banks and Development Finance Institutions (G-NEXID) is a non-governmental policy organization comprising 22 policy banks from developing countries. Launched in 2006 with the support of UNCTAD, G-NEXID focuses on bilateral and multilateral partnerships to promote economic stability through, inter alia, lines of credit and credit-related transactional relationship building, networking, capacity building and information exchange.