Your Monday morning coffee briefing from TFG. The WTO is forecasting growth in global merchandise trade of 8.0% this year following a contraction of 5.3% in 2020. US president Joe Biden unveiled his proposal to spend $2tn on infrastructure, renewable electricity, energy efficiency measures for homes and schools, research and development and manufacturing subsidies. The container ship blocking the Suez Canal was refloated, allowing the canal to reopen.

ICC, TFG and WTO release the latest research on trade digitalization facilitating MSME financing

World Trade Organization (WTO), Trade Finance Global (TFG), and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) have launched their latest publication ‘Accelerating trade digitalization to support MSME financing. ’This new publication dives into the benefits and deployment challenges of eight prominent technologies that have the potential to disrupt the international trade landscape and to facilitate MSME financing. Read more →

World trade primed for strong but uneven recovery after COVID-19 pandemic shock

Prospects for a quick recovery in world trade have improved as merchandise trade expanded more rapidly than expected in the second half of last year. According to new estimates from the WTO, the volume of world merchandise trade is expected to increase by 8.0% in 2021 after having fallen 5.3% in 2020, continuing its rebound from the pandemic-induced collapse that bottomed out in the second quarter of last year.   Read more →

25% of SME exporters halt EU sales 90 days after Brexit

A new FSB survey of more than 1,400 small firms finds that one in five (23%) exporters have temporarily halted sales to European Union (EU) customers and a further 4% have already decided to stop selling into the bloc permanently after new trading rules took effect at the start of this year.  Read more →

UK calls for world to ‘get tough’ with China as part of global trade shake-up

UK international trade secretary Liz Truss called for the G7 to get “tough on China” and modernise the WTO which she claimed was in danger of becoming irrelevant. Speaking ahead of a virtual meeting of G7 trade ministers,Truss urged the US to put its weight behind the daunting task of reforming the WTO. Read more →

SME Barometer: lockdown measures turn down recovery expectations

The SME Business Climate Index presented today shows a partial recovery of 5.2% up to 59.8% after the negative record of 54.6% registered in autumn 2020. Although deconfinement and the temporary return to business-as-usual operations triggered a positive rebound, the numbers are mitigated by the outbreak of the second wave at the end of 2020. Read more →

Afreximbank announces landmark phosphate mining term loan facility worth US$350m

Afreximbank announced the signing of a 7-year US$350 Million Term Loan Facility to provide financing to OCP Group, the world’s largest phosphate mining and leading fertilizer company. This facility will support OCP Group’s expansion plans across Africa. Read more →

ADB Bolsters Support for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has quadrupled its support for food systems development in the past decade from $409 million in 2010 to $1.2 billion in 2020 to help close the financing gap in ensuring food security. Read more →