Trade & investment

ICC Trade Now to connect SMEs to innovative trade finance solutions

  • 26 May 2021

ICC has launched ICC Trade Now, a suite of digital products and services to tackle the global trade finance gap in all its breadth and complexity.

Through tailored partnerships with cutting edge solution providers, ICC Trade Now will scale up trade finance solutions, empower small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and provide financiers with new investment opportunities.

International trade is a key driver of growth and innovation for SMEs worldwide – yet over 45% of SMEs see their requests for trade finance rejected and often struggle to find alternative sources of funding. Without adequate access to capital, SMEs are effectively cut off from international markets and unable to grow their operations to meet international demand.

Coupled with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, SMEs desperately need short-term liquidity and access to international trade to survive the ongoing economic crisis and thrive once the worst effects of the crisis have subsided. Building on extensive market research, ICC is taking bold action to ensure that SMEs worldwide have the right tools and access to capital to trade now. ICC Trade Now will connect SMEs to innovative service providers who can help finance their trade operations and seize new business opportunities globally

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:

“Small businesses around the world continue to suffer from uncertain economic conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. With credit conditions tightening, SMEs are in desperate need of solutions that will enable them to trade now. That’s why ICC is leveraging our global network of 45 million businesses in over 100 countries to launch ICC Trade Now and connect small businesses with financial service providers. By working with trusted partners, ICC Trade Now will revitalize SMEs everywhere and enable them to lead for the long-term.”

ICC Trade Now will bring together and offer a portfolio of solutions that can address the various facets of the trade finance gap. SMEs will be able to select the solution provider that is most aligned with their needs while a wide array of financiers will be able to leverage ICC Trade Now solution providers to service SMEs profitably. Three digital solutions – ICC TRADECOMM, TradeFlow Capital, and FQX – have already been announced under the ICC Trade Now campaign with more solutions expected to be added in 2021.

ICC TRADECOMM powered by Finastra will allow investors to finance trade transactions against title documents and equip SMEs with a broader set of solutions to mitigate perceived risk and the burden of compliance. TradeFlow Capital – developed in partnership with TradeFlow Capital Management – offers investors a non-credit approach based on direct ownership of the commodities and quick and low cost on-boarding of SMEs with full bank level KYC and AML checks. FQX is a blockchain-based digital infrastructure that enables the issuance, transfer and settlement of electronic promissory notes for obtaining and providing trade finance in 152 countries around the world.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) said:

“Faced with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, SMEs need secure supplies of trade finance to survive. Addressing the trade finance gap now will reduce obstacles to trade in the future and keep the global economy moving forward. ICC Trade Now is a positive step towards a full recovery and ITC looks forward to working with ICC to bring solutions to the thousands of SMEs it works with in developing countries.”

Ambassador Jose Luis Cancela, Permanent Observer of Uruguay to the World Trade Organization and Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) said:

“SMEs continue to suffer under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than anything else, these companies need tools and resources that will help them access short-term liquidity and keep international trade moving. We welcome solutions like ICC TRADE NOW to provide SMEs with a lifeline to avert the worst effects of the crisis and ensure an inclusive recovery for all.”

Dr Victor K. Fung, Chairman of the Fung Group and Chair of ICC’s Advisory Group on Trade Finance said:

“In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential that SMEs receive secure lines of capital, so that they can trade in international markets and grow their operations. By fully leveraging the transformative power of digital technologies, ICC TRADE NOW will create more favorable conditions for banks and non-bank financiers to service SMEs profitably and establish conditions for a resilient economic recovery.”

In the coming months, ICC will continue to de velop new solutions and initiatives to accelerate the provision of trade finance to SMEs. Urgent action is required to bridge the widening trade finance gap and ICC is determined to help SMEs access trade finance every day, everywhere. Join our growing ICC Trade Now community and stay up-to-date with the latest news and information by registering as: