NERC Amsterdam Spring Event, June 2022

By Karl Page, Chair of the ITFA NERC

Following a two-year absence, the NERC Amsterdam Spring Event is back! This event, sponsored by Credit Europe, made a welcome return to our calendars in May; more than 100 delegates from various European countries enjoyed the Spring sunshine in the beautiful City of Amsterdam.

We kicked off the event programme with a presentation from Inga Fechner of ING Bank on the European macro-economic outlook. This session was titled “War in Ukraine: More of a game-changer for Europe than Covid-19”, in which Inga outlined the challenges the region faces in an environment of low business confidence, inflation, high commodity prices and supply chain disruptions.

Next it was Grant Eldred of Pennington Manches Cooper, who guided us through the current sanction’s situation pertaining to Russia. Grant outlined how sanctions have impacted Trade so far, and what potential scenarios might develop further down the line. The general message was that the process is expected to take “years not months” to play out, as was experienced with previous Iran sanctions.

Then followed a panel discussion on the ITFIE (ITFA Trade Finance Investment Ecosystem) initiative; this is a working group that was originally started by the ICC and has now been taken on by ITFA. The purpose of this initiative is to create an eco-system to facilitate easier distribution of trade assets to institutional investors, which it is hoped will ultimately facilitate more capital for trade finance. ITFA Chair Sean Edwards moderated a panel comprised of Eric de Vienne of HSBC, Sachin Anandikar of Pemberton Asset Management and Cedric Testa of NN Investment Partners who explained the market context for this project and what is being planned. An initial white paper on this topic has been published and going forward the group will publish a series of consultations, papers and surveys to support development of the initiative. More updates will follow soon.

The closing session of the afternoon was another panel discussion entitled “Trade: A New World”, moderated by Andrew van den Born of Willis Towers Watson. The panellists were Bert Verkerk of Rabobank, Manya Biemans of Credit Europe and Alejandro Battistotti of NN Investment Partners. This was a very interesting, engaging session in which market practitioners discussed the realities of providing trade financing solutions in the current environment, together with expectations as to how the market needs to continue adapting to help facilitate global trade in these challenging times.

The NERC would like to thank Credit Europe for its sponsorship, and all the people involved in the planning and delivery of this event.

Presentation slides for the economic outlook and sanctions sessions will be published soon on the ITFA website.

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