Trade & investment

UN recognises US$1.6 trillion trade finance gap

  • 24 May 2017

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has welcomed official recognition of the estimated US$1.6 trillion trade financing gap in the United Nations’ (UN) annual Financing for Development (FfD) review.

In an intergovernmental text issued today, the UN underscores the importance of ensuring adequate and cost-effective trade financing for small businesses and entrepreneurs – noting severe shortfalls in provision “reported by the Asian Development Bank and the International Chamber of Commerce”.

On the basis of ICC’s engagement with the UN and national governments over recent weeks, the UN has also committed to carry out an official review of the trade financing gap and its underlying causes. This will form part of the UN’s annual assessment of progress in mobilising finance to support sustainable development, with findings and recommendations to be issued in April 2018.

Following the release of the annual UN FfD review today, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said:

“We welcome the enhanced focus placed by the UN’s Financing for Development Forum on securing access to trade finance for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“We know that small businesses face increasing difficulties accessing bank finance to support international transactions. This means lost opportunities to use the international trading system to support inclusive growth and job creation – particularly as the Internet opens up opportunities for many small businesses to trade internationally for the first time.

“The decision to mandate an official UN review of the estimated US$1.6 trillion trade financing gap is a welcome step in addressing this now chronic problem. This is a complex global problem requiring a concerted global response in the context of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ICC will continue to engage fully in this process, utilising its unique Observer Status within the UN system.”

Click here to access the full UN FfD statement.