Since 2011 we have supported almost 600 transactions for approximately €2.4 billion
September saw the return of the TFP Trade Finance Forum to the city where it all began – Istanbul.
Istanbul has always been a place of connection – as civilizations came and went, the city served as a bridge between the East and West and due to its geographical location it has been an important conduit of commerce and knowledge since classical times.
Türkiye is one of the most active countries in our programme and has been part of the TFP since 2011. Since then we have supported almost 600 transactions for approximately €2.4 billion. It was therefore only fitting that the ninth TFP Forum was held, on 22 and 23 September, in the vibrant and historical city of Istanbul.
Covid-19 forced the Forum to take a three-year break, during which time global trade suffered serious disruption. So we were thrilled to welcome almost 300 participants from 131 financial institutions and organisations from 41 countries to join us for our two-day conference at the exquisite Ritz Carlton Hotel overlooking the Bosphorus.
The conference was opened by Francis Malige, Managing Director, Financial Institutions, and Representative Volkan Huang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Mission in Ankara.
Discussions and presentations focused on the latest trends and developments within the trade finance industry, while our business partners had an abundance of networking opportunities to exchange contacts and create new business relationships.
With the impact of the war on Ukraine and the pandemic still resonating around the world, the TFP has remained resilient, responding promptly and effectively to challenges, and supporting our partner banks at a time when it matters most.
In 2021 alone we supported almost 2,000 transactions, hitting a record annual volume of over €3.2 billion. Since the start of the TFP in 1999 we have supported more than 30,400 transactions for €32 billion.
Both the war and the pandemic featured prominently in discussions – as Rudolf Putz, Head of TFP commented: “The Covid-19 crisis and the war on Ukraine have severely disrupted supply chains. However, we are pleased to see that many partner banks, co-financing partners and donors have continued to support trade with and between the economies where the EBRD invests.”
Digitalisation and green trade finance were another two crucial topics discussed, alongside the importance of factoring and supply chain finance, dispute resolution in trade finance and the cost of correspondent banks’ de-risking.
Correspondent banks are key for the TFP and its work in helping partner banks develop their trade finance business, especially in smaller countries with smaller banks. Therefore we will continue to lobby against de-risking and help our partner banks attract new international correspondent banks.
TFP – time for party!
The Forum would not be complete without those vital moments for guests to let their hair down and catch up. And so, after a successful first day of panels and meetings, we treated participants to dinner among the 100-year-old olive trees in the garden of Cecconi’s at Soho House. The following day we wrapped up the event with a somewhat rainy boat trip and dinner on the Bosphorus. Although the evening was slightly scuppered by the rain, we did arrange for a great spectacle in the shape of an entire double rainbow over the glorious Bosphorus, which enticed people out onto a drizzly top deck!
The Forum would not have been possible without support from our sponsors: the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund, local partners Akbank, Alternatifbank, Burgan Bank, DenizBank, TEB, TSKB and Yapi Kredi, and Deutsche Bank and ODDO BHF. We also had our first media partner, Trade Finance Global, on board to provide extensive coverage of the event within the community.
We would also like to extend our gratitude to our colleagues in the EBRD resident office in Istanbul for all their help in making this event such a success.
Although we have only just returned from Istanbul, we are already preparing for next year’s Forum, which we are excited to announce will be held in Vienna, Austria.
So thank you Istanbul for the hospitality, and Vienna, here we come!
“The Covid-19 crisis and the war on Ukraine have severely disrupted supply chains. However, we are pleased to see that many partner banks, co-financing partners and donors have continued to support trade with and between the economies where the EBRD invests.”