CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE – Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal and Special Adviser to The Global Trade Finance Department At SMBC, Oct 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

What a rollercoaster of events here in London! I cannot help mentioning the recent political events taking place in the UK.  In a span of a couple of months our country will have seen three different faces at the tiller. Third time lucky? As the new incumbent has pledged to work towards bringing his party and the country together, commentators ask how a belittled economy can manage the global headwinds. Of course, this is not just a problem for all the UK. All major forecasters are predicting a contraction in world trade volumes reflecting lower growth. More positively, trade finance has not suffered itself to the same degree with losses under control largely thanks to government support albeit at the cost of a flight to better quality obligors and/or tighter structuring.

On another politically related note, ITFA is elated to have reported that the legislative process to lawfully digitise the majority of core trade documentation, such as bills of lading, bills of exchange and promissory notes, has formally commenced in the UK. The draft law, the Electronic Trade Documents Bill, began its legislative journey on 12th October when it was introduced into the UK Parliament. All expectations are that it will pass into law easily and that this major change will be in place by next year. ITFA has been at the forefront of these development through different initiatives, including input into the drafting of the bill itself following a long consultation process.  We will of course keep you posted. 

As we draw closer to the end of another calendar year, you would have noticed several events being announced by ITFA central as well as by some of our regional committees. Making reference to the main Christmas Event taking place in London on 5th December, I kindly urge main delegates to reply by nominating the attendees for the seminar and the evening event.  Furthermore, I invite you to access our events page (link: https://itfa.org/category/itfa-events-2022/) to make sure you are well informed about the event as well as others being organised in specific regions. For further information you may also send us an email on sec@itfa.org

In this month’s edition of the newsletter, we have an interesting read about, amongst other things our recent conference held in Porto and key takeaways from our recent ITFA events held in New York, Sydney and Dubai.

Finally, we are also pleased to announce that the following nine institutions have joined our ever-growing association: Arqit, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Comerica Bank, Kentro Capital Ltd, Lendscape Limited, NLB, Premium Bank OJSC, Rosenthal & Rosenthal Inc, Triterras Fintech Pte Ltd.

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, info@itfa.org.

Best regards,

Sean Edwards

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