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,

Believe it or not, we have already come to the end of the first quarter of 2019. Time really does fly by when you are having fun.

And on to Emerging Markets – in line with the trajectory of risky assets, Emerging Market (EM) economies have picked up performance at the beginning of the year and have continued to throughout February. The Trade War tensions are slowly diminishing ever since President Trump and President Xi met and appeared, at least, to be capable of working towards terms they could both approve.

Moreover, the Fed’s dovish stance remains a benefit to EM currencies as they persist within their current levels. Should current market conditions remain, EMs should continue at this pace. That being said, we are still seeing soft figures from China; factory activity reached a three-year low in February as export orders fell at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis – more evidence of an economy facing weak domestic demand. More recently, Chinese February exports declined by 16.6% y-o-y (estimates were pointing towards a drop of ‘just’ 6.6%), which could result in a spell of marked weakness in EM and the global economy as a whole.

In this March edition of the ITFA Newsletter you will find a stimulating article titled ‘’New BAFT MPA’s Absent Fraud Clause: We’re Sure You Don’t Need It’’ by Shannon Manders, ITFA Consultant.  GTR and the ITFA MERC gathered regional key players to discuss how the region is faring – GTR provides a detailed write up titled ”Trade Tensions, Technology and Transformation – the role of MENA.” Trade Finance Global (TFG) contributes an interesting read recording the ITFA Fintech event that took place in Helsinki last month. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the following three institutions joined ITFA in March; Pasha Yatirim Bankasi A.S., First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Fineon Exchange.

The ITFA Conference website will go live in the coming days. We hope many of you will join us in Budapest, between the 4-6th September, for yet another fruitful and interesting conference – as always ITFA promises to deliver a fantastic gathering complete with industry learning, entertainment and networking opportunities.

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