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Editor’s note

“There is nothing permanent except change.” 

Greek philosopher Heraclitus’ words, written more than 1000 years ago, ring truer today than ever before.

Change can come at any point and can be catalysed by any manner of things. Trade has proven no exception to the rule. US inflation is at a 40-year high, sovereign debt is soaring all around the world, and there’s no end in sight with the devastation between Russia and Ukraine.

At the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Public Forum this month, we heard Director general Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala admit that the world is heading towards a global recession due to a “collision of poly-crises around security, climate, energy, [and] food prices”.

“The world cannot afford to do business as usual,” Okonjo-Iweala said.

Yet, the counter-cyclical nature of trade against sluggish economic growth is creating an urgency toward affordable, inclusive, and resilient trade.

Digitisation has once again come first place in the trending trade top of the pops, with murmurings of electronic bills of lading (eBLs), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and legal reform also joining the party.

It’s all quite overwhelming.

Taking a step back though, there have been pockets of success at impressive speeds around many innovations seizing the market, scale is now key. To name a few detailed in this issue; Visa B2B connect, SGTraDEX (with Veridapt), SWIFT’s messaging standards, and African payments developments have all catapulted trade, treasury, and payments.

This issue of Trade Finance Talks aims to deconstruct the tenets facilitating change in the landscape.As the youngest continent in the world, with immeasurable levels of untapped wealth, industry leaders’ heads have been turned toward one region in particular: Africa.

Read more in the foreword to explore the changes and why time is truly ticking for tech…

Deepesh Patel

Editorial Director, TFG

Welcome to our October Edition of Trade Finance Talks by TFG: Time’s Ticking for Tech

What’s inside this Issue?


Foreword | A note from the editor – Time’s Ticking for Tech


B2B cross-border payments: improving efficiency, speed, and transparency
SWIFT thinking: how the global payments system can help digitalise trade finance
Digitisation in transforming the trade landscape
Driving sustainability in global trade with digital collaboration
Can Europe be the first carbon-neutral continent?
Data standards: a key to a truly sustainable trade
African trade finance enters an exciting new phase

Emerging Markets

African access to trade: SMEs, FX, and sustainability
International trade, sustainability, digitisation in Armenia
Banking in the Kyrgyz Republic, Optima Bank OSJC
Trade finance in Ukraine: a rallying call for industry members
Uzbekistan’s largest oil and gas company on digitisation, ESG, geopolitics
Emerging markets roundtable: understanding and addressing the trade finance challenges for SMEs
Correspondent banking in the Caribbean: the impact of ‘derisking’ on the real economy

Trade Credit Insurance

The changing risk landscape of trade credit insurance
GreenStars’ Paul Wollny on the world of credit insurance
Atradius on political risk, emerging markets, digitalisation
Resilience, technology, and risk appetite: credit insurance experts weigh in on current trends


A different type of KYC: lessons from the sub-saharan Africa mobile phone market
Procure to pay in a global economy: how businesses can acknowledge FX in their processes
How connected payments impact Africa
Interview: Why ‘ecosystem play’ is important for digital trade
Driving a digital agenda for trade: how the ICC is setting the standard