Focus On Trade

VOL. 38  NO. 2

This issue reflects a different approach, and to some extent a different content, than usual. We decided to focus most, but certainly not all, of this issue on  trade finance. Not just for our annual Trade Finance and Supply Chain Finance awards but for much more. Trade finance is the subject of a lengthy interview with seasoned experts Michael Vrontamitis and Daniel Cotti of T3i, and our monthly Global Salon, which had another expert as a guest speaker: AndrĂ© Casterman. He is currently a consultant after having a long experience at Swift, and is involved in many key cross-border projects in this area.

This approach, the deliberate choice to focus even more than usual on a single topic, brought a first result for our editorial team and your editor: We did not simply learn much more about trade finance and the critical issues relating to the sector, but also saw how much this topic touches our other key areas of coverage. Trade finance is influenced by many external factors, and has a global relevance in many different areas. In other words, the present and the future of trade finance are strictly connected, to mention just a few areas, with its innovation and with regulation. At the same time, trade finance evolves and trasforms itself also as a result of geopolitical tensions and developments around the world.

This topic is tightly intertwined with digitalization and the increasing use of artificial intelligence. New technologies and applications could democratize trade finance, expanding the reach of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which typically have had harder times getting their trades financed. That is why experts often describe the industry’s current state by talking about an upcoming disruption or massive transformation of this sector. We hope you will enjoy the deeper focus of this issue, and find it, as we did, both enriching and thought-provoking!

Andrea Fiano | Editor at Large