Singapore, 29 October: The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Academy and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) are pleased to announce the renewal of their strategic partnership. This collaboration enables the ITFC to continue to offer ICC Academy’s professional trade finance programmes, the introductory-level Global Trade Certificate (GTC) along with the advanced-level Certified Trade Finance Professional (CTFP), and train staff members from financial institutions across Asia, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
In addition, this year’s renewed alliance has been joined by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to further assist least-developed countries (LDCs) use trade as an engine for growth.
Commenting on the collaboration, Daniel Kok, ICC Academy General Manager said: “The 2020 ICC Global Survey on Trade Finance suggests that, despite the impact the pandemic has had on the global economy, banks continue to be optimistic about the long-term future of trade finance. Financial institutions continue to offer new products, expand geographically and increase their digital offerings in order to attract new clients. However, in the short term, many banks predict a decline in trade flows due to the impact of COVID-19.
“We are therefore pleased to renew this partnership with ITFC to continue to develop knowledge, skills and professional capacities in the regions, as well as facilitating practitioners stay up-to-date with the latest policies and practices in the COVID-19 landscape. This collaboration reflects the ongoing commitment of both organizations towards strengthening international trade” added Mr Kok.
The partnership has two main objectives. The first is to strengthen the trade finance competencies of partner banks to offer competitive services to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local businesses engaged in international trade. The second is to introduce sophisticated trade finance products in line with client needs.
Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO said: “The training programme aims to urgently support trade finance in member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) and least-developed countries (LDCs).
“Our partnership represents a collaborative commitment to ease the social, economic, and healthcare burdens that have been placed upon so many of the world’s LDCs, as a result of COVID-19. The ICC Academy’s professional trade finance programmes will equip financial institutions with the knowledge and practical skills needed to provide trade finance services to SMEs and local businesses to safeguard the livelihoods of millions of workers throughout these regions.”
The signing of the agreement comes after a comprehensive response from ITFC to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has pledged US$2.3 billion for the group’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme for the COVID-19 pandemic. ITFC has enacted a 3-R approach (Respond, Restore, Restart) in conjunction with IsDB, to support OIC countries at different stages of recovery.
Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director for the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) said:
“Our Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS) have identified access to trade finance as both a priority and a limiting factor for economic diversification. We are pleased to join forces with ITFC and ICC Academy to improve trade finance in least-developed countries and are confident that this partnership will deliver inclusive and sustainable results for all.”
For more information about ICC Academy’s professional trade finance programmes, view the introductory-level Global Trade Certificate (GTC) and the advanced-level Certified Trade Finance Professional(CTFP) programme.
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