CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE – Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal and Special Adviser to the Global Trade Finance Department at SMBC

Dear Members and Friends,

Following a lacklustre 2018, Emerging Market economies registered a significant turnaround in the first four months of the year, and during April EMs continued to benefit from a market scenario of contained inflationary pressures on the one hand and a stable US dollar on the other. Trade war tensions not only subsided but were sending the market positive signals that both the US and China are seemingly on the brink of some form of truce and reasonable yet amicable end to negotiations. Until, that is, the first weekend of May when US President Trump rattled the market with a surprise tweet on Sunday night threatening to introduce additional tariffs on $325bn worth of Chinese goods.

Meanwhile, we can notice that there has been a noteworthy shift in monetary policy in emerging market economies so far this year; from a trend of hiking rates in 2018 to monetary easing this year, with more EM central banks expected to cut rates and / or introduce additional accommodative monetary policy measures in 2019. The pace at which rates are hiked in 2019 could very well influence the performance and market sentiment of EMs for the remainder of the year.

In the May edition of the ITFA Newsletter GTR interviews some of ITFA’s Middle East Regional Committee Members to talk about how well the region is faring in a world of trade wars and rapid digital transformation. Trade Finance Global (TFG) provides an interesting read titled: ‘’What are the hot topics of Trade Finance at the ITFA?’’. Andre Casterman – ITFA Board Member and Uzair Bawamy – Traydstream, contribute to this edition of the newsletter with ‘’Fintechs Collaborating: Data Technology and Machine Learning help originators upgrade Trade Operations and reduce Cash Conversion Cycle.’’ We provide a brief summary on the successful CEE regional event held in Prague on 11 April.

As always, ITFA is proud and delighted to welcome its new members to the Association; Munich Re, Taulia Inc, Coriolis Technologies Ltd and Traydstream.

Preparations for the 46th Annual International Trade and Forfaiting Conference which will be held in Budapest, Hungary between the 4th and 6th of September, are going according to plan. As we have announced, registrations have started flowing in, and the conference programme is finalised. We urge you all to register and hope to see you in Budapest.

We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may want to share with us by sending an email to myself, any of the Board Members or to our general email,

Best wishes,

Sean Edwards