Trade financing and COVID-19

  • 20 May 2020

Trade financing and COVID-19

Priming the market to drive a rapid economic recovery

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The International Chamber of Commerce estimates a possible US$ 5 trillion of trade credit will be needed to enable a rapid recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and warned  that trade financing gaps risk hampering a global recovery – impacting the survival chances of small businesses.

In this paper, ICC cautions that a rapid economic recovery will only be possible if sufficient credit is available to bring trade close to its pre-pandemic trend over the next 18 months and calls on policymakers to proactively scale support for trade finance transactions to prime the market ahead of demand returning to the global economy.

The paper identifies four priority interventions that, if properly calibrated, could immediately bolster financing capacity – ranging from large scale purchases of low-risk trade assets to free up banks’ balance sheets to providing targeted capital relief for trade transactions under global financial stability rules, known as Basel III.

Building on an earlier memo to central banks and governments, the new paper urges all governments to immediately void legal requirements for trade documents to be presented in hard-copy – with banks facing difficulties maintaining the in-person staffing needed to process paper-based transactions in the context of public health measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Visit sos.iccwbo.org for further details on ICC’s global campaign to “Save Our SMEs”

Approximate read time: 12 minutes