While the world economy founders on debt and unemployment, trade and finance experts participating in the summit emphasized that trade has been the single most important source of growth and jobs over the past 60 years and that trade finance must be made more accessible and affordable, particularly for developing countries and small- and medium-sized enterprises. “We are now living in a highly uncertain and volatile economic climate whereby China and the emerging markets are playing an ever more important role in providing the right stimulus for economic recovery and job creation,” said Kah Chye Tan, Global Head of Trade and Working Capital, Barclays Corporate, and Chair, ICC Banking Commission. “This summit will facilitate the right dialogue between banks and the corporate world in advance of the meeting of G20 leaders in November. We firmly believe that our Beijing summit will set a precedent for future dialogue between the banking and the corporate communities by placing economic well-being and job creation at the centre of our cooperation.” The Trade Finance Summit was hosted by ICC China and was held on the occasion of a major ICC Banking Commission meeting taking place in Beijing from October 24-28. Primary multilateral institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank and other leading international trade banks participated in the panel discussions. Zhu Guangyao, Chinese Vice Minister of Finance, and Liu Mingkang, Chairman, China Banking Regulatory Commission, were the keynote speakers.
Earlier in the week, a new report issued by ICC, Global Risks – Trade Finance 2011, showed that trade finance is a relatively low-risk asset class that should not be feared by banks, nor overregulated by governments. ICC also said it was pleased that the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision had announced measures that recognize trade finance as a low-risk activity for banks, and said that there is opportunity to further refine the rules to foster the development of trade and the support of SME clients.The ICC Trade Finance Summit and Banking Commission meeting brought together some 600 eminent banking professionals, international organizations and supervisory bodies from over 50 countries to examine the key trade and finance challenges faced by the industry. Read the ICC response to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision announcement on trade finance