More than 400 banking and business executives from 50 countries met in Doha, Qatar to rethink the future of trade finance in a bid to encourage governments, regulatory bodies and G20 leaders to remove obstacles to trade finance and stimulate economic growth and job creation. Several U.S. executives took part, including USCIB Banking Committee Chair Michael Quinn, managing director of global trade services at J.P. Morgan Chase.
These bankers, business leaders and policymakers – gathered for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Banking Commission bi-annual meeting, which ran from March 25-29 – met to take stock of current regulatory constraints jeopardizing the supply and demand of trade finance.
“It is crucial that, during this economic crisis, trade finance be freed up to promote economic growth, especially in the developing world,” said Sheikh Khalifa Al Thani, chairman of ICC Qatar and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which hosted the meeting. “This would stimulate a well-functioning and effective private sector, thereby improving the conditions for investment and trade.”
Economic crises have negatively impacted trade finance in many countries over the past five years and conditions are still difficult in many regions. As trade finance markets become less liquid, the entire supply chain is affected with a particular toll being taken on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries.
“SMEs could be the engine of economic growth if given better access to investment through new regulatory frameworks for trade finance,” said ICC Banking Commission Chair Kah Chye Tan.
While ICC recognizes that it is important to improve the resilience of the financial system, it is also urging governments to take measures that make trade finance more accessible and affordable, and to avoid drafting regulations that may penalize trade.
ICC also held a policy consultation with its Banking Commission members in order to tap into their expertise on key business issues – including trade, investment and finance – ahead of the G20 Summit being held in Los Cabos, Mexico on June 18-19. The consultation is part of the ICC G20 Advisory Group’s ongoing efforts to gather policy priorities from business leaders and CEOs worldwide.
“The consultations we’ve held in Europe, North America, Asia and here in the Middle East ensure that businesses large and small have an opportunity to contribute their views and help shape ICC’s policy recommendations for input into the G20 process,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier.
Discussion at the event focused on trade and finance market constraints, including demand, risks, pricing, availability of trade finance, currency exposure and US liquidity issues. Financial regulation and reform, and the impacts of Basel III on industry were of critical concern to participants.
Click here to read more on ICC’s website.
Visit the ICC G20 Advisory Group for more information on ICC activities ahead of the G20 Summit in Los Cabos.
Staff Contact: Eva Hampl