Speaking at a meeting of the WTO Working Group on Trade, Debt and Finance on 8 June, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo highlighted the significant progress made in improving access to trade finance, in response to the persistent gaps in provision which affect small businesses and poorer countries in particular.
DG Azevêdo outlined progress in a number of areas, including working with partners to enhance existing trade finance facilitation programmes. In 2016, these programmes supported around $22 billion in trade transactions. In 2018 they are set to reach over $35 billion — an increase of more than 50% in just two years.
Looking forward, he said: “I am confident that some of the processes and discussions that we have initiated can deliver even more positive outcomes in the period ahead.” He pointed to the “strong coalition” which has been built on this work, bringing a wide range of partners to the table, including the International Finance Corporation, the Financial Stability Board and the regional development banks. Discussions with these partners will continue, including at the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Bali, Indonesia, in October.