CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE – Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head Of Legal And Special Adviser To The Global Trade Finance Department At SMBC – May 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

As I am sure most of you have learnt by now, we have taken the extremely difficult decision to postpone the ITFA 2020 Annual Conference.  Certainly not an easy decision in view of the popularity enjoyed by such an event, both at board level as well as by our esteemed members.  Nevertheless, we promise to be back with a bang whether at the end of this year or in 2021! May I once again take the opportunity to publicly thank those institutions who believed in our annual event and had already pledged their support.

On a more positive note, I am pleased to learn that our webinars are gaining momentum and participation is rapidly on the increase.  As you have seen from our various emails and social media posts, more and more webinars are being organised.  I invite you to visit our website for more details.

We have also been busy advancing our initiatives in fintech and continuing our advocacy efforts with EU regulators to recognise the true value of trade credit insurance. I’m particularly proud of the work we have done in advancing the global agenda for digitisation through the publication of our DNI initiative on which we have held several webinars.

On a global note, a mixed sentiment prevails.  With fewer COVID-19 cases being reported in certain parts of the world, some governments are starting to ease restrictions.  Whilst this is certainly a welcomed decision from a business perspective, experts around the world have their say, in view of the potential risks imposed by a second wave of the virus. 

In the meantime, we have also seen oil prices rising after OPEC’s Middle East heavyweights pledged additional reductions in production.  In one of his tweets Donald Trump expressed his satisfaction at such news.

In the May edition of our Newsletter Christoph Gugelmann, Tradeteq CEO, contributes an interesting article entitled ‘’Keeping supply chains moving during and after Covid-19.’’ Andre Casterman, ITFA Chair – Fintech Committee, keeps us abreast of fintech news with an article entitled ‘’ITFA fintechs joining forces to digitise negotiable instruments using advanced document technology.’’ Silja Calac, ITFA Chair – Insurance Committee, updates us on Covid-19 support measures: ‘’ITFA calls for EU-wide harmonisation and equality for all insurance products.’’ Finally, Shannon Manders, ITFA Consultant, provides a brief about the success of the ITFA Emerging Leaders webinar which was held on 30th April.

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

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