The ICC Banking Commission’s Annual Meeting kicks off this week in Miami at a time of historic uncertainty for the international rules-based trading system.

Whether watching the heightened rise and fall of the stock market or “trade wars” news headlines, it is clear that the international trade climate is facing a moment of acute uncertainty and that this lack of clarity is unearthing graver concerns about the global economy as a whole.

Trade finance is, in many ways, the lifeblood of our international trading system, helping companies mitigate the risks and costs involved in the international flow of goods. As such, the trade finance industry is particularly sensitive to protectionist trends and the politics of world trade.

Current fears of an existential threat to the system are taking place amid much larger technological transformations, as new advances are changing the fundamentals of trade finance operations. Digitalisation – through tools like blockchain, big data, and artificial intelligence – is bringing a new generation of players and business models into trade finance, and driving  movement towards paperless trade. Such disruption presents as many opportunities as it does challenges.

“A crucial moment”

Against this backdrop, the ICC Banking Commission’s Annual Meeting is taking place from 3-6 April in Miami – a global gateway to Latin America as well as a major banking and financial hub. The meeting will bring together over 400 of the most influential trade finance experts, banking professionals, lawyers and government officials from more than 65 countries to discuss critical issues and emerging trends.

ICC’s Banking Commission is the leading rule-maker and standard-setter for the global trade finance industry, underpinning over US$2 trillion of transactions each year. The 2018 Annual Meeting is co-organised by the Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA), a non-profit trade association dedicated to supporting the global financial services industry through innovation and advocacy

John Danilovich, ICC Secretary General, said:

“Growing global trade tensions make the ICC Banking Commission’s Annual Meeting in Miami a crucial moment for all stakeholders in the trade finance industry to collectively take stock of challenges and opportunities and shape the future landscape for the benefit of businesses and consumers in Latin America and around the world.”

What to expect?

With lively debates between influencers, opportunities to learn and exchange skills, and the unique chance to network with key members of the international trade finance industry, the ICC Banking Commission’s Annual Meeting allows trade finance experts, banking professionals, business leaders, lawyers and government officials to gain valuable insight, exchange ideas and sketch out blueprints for the future of international trade.

This year, the event will feature over 80 high-level speakers in interactive keynote, panel, plenary and break-out sessions. They include David Schwartz, President and CEO of FIBA; Daniel Schmand, Chairman of the ICC Banking Commission and Global Head of Trade Finance at Deutsche Bank; Gema Sacristan, Chief Investment Officer of the Inter-American Investment Corporation; Richard Moore, Managing Director of Alvarez & Marsal; and Ernesto Revilla, Head of LATAM Economics at Citi.

Ahead of the plenary sessions on 5-6 April, ICC Banking Commission members will take part in a series of task force and specialised group meetings covering, among other issues, digitalisation and the e-compatibility of ICC rules, findings of the ICC Global Survey, the 2017 Trade Register and a B20/G20 consultation on future policy initiatives. This year will also see the launch of the ICC Banking Commission “Young Successors in Trade” Programme, aimed at identifying and supporting an emerging generation of international trade finance experts.

ICC thanks the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, IDB Invest, Surecomp, BNY Mellon, Bank of China, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), Santander and Texel Finance in association with Meridian Finance Group for their kind support.

To view the full agenda, please click here.