Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Trade finance trends, legal opinions, trade document analysis, and sustainability and digitalisation updates… what more could you want out of an industry event?

These topics, and more, were all discussed at ICC Austria’s Trade Finance Week 2024 in Vienna, where Jyodh Bilan, Editorial Assistant, Trade Finance Global, was joined by Eleonore Treu, Director of ICC Austria’s Trade Finance Week, to reflect on two decades of the event and future prospects.

Reflecting on Trade Finance Week 2024

The 18th Global Conference on Letters of Credit opened on the fourth day of Trade Finance Week, concluding a successful event. 

According to Treu, the week was incredibly busy, but left everyone feeling like they walked away with a lot more information. The sessions all covered topics such as sanctions and compliance, artificial intelligence, digitalisation, e-bills of lading, and the current legal landscape. 

Notably, discussions on the current regulatory environment in light of the latest EBA proposal on the classification of guarantees were of particular importance.

Eleanor Treu 2

Secrets to the success of Trade Finance Week

After two decades of ICC Austria successfully hosting Trade Finance Week, there are several clear key elements behind this achievement, principally the community, the location, and the team behind the event. 

Treu said, “It is a layered answer, but I think it always starts with the community…the trade finance community is quite a crowd. They are something, and they are also closer to family perhaps.” 

Another factor is Vienna itself. In particular, it is a central location, which is particularly useful for Central Asia, with excellent connections to the Balkans, the Caucasus region, and North Africa. Treu said, “It is reachable, and of course, it is very beautiful.” 

The ICC Austria team is a third important factor behind the longstanding success of the event. Treu said, “We have been putting our heart into that conference week for close to 20 years. Next year we will celebrate our 20th Global Conference on Bank Guarantees…I think I have hosted 12 or 13 of those. Next year is going to be an exciting year.” 

Looking ahead to 2025

Trade Finance Week 2025 will take place from the 19th to the 23rd of May. Whilst remaining in Vienna, the venue location will be changed after a fruitful run with longstanding partner, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). 

Treu said, “We are moving to a different space to market the change visually as well. Then, be excited about the agenda. I am getting a tonne of new ideas, but the overall motto will be “change”.” The event will continue in its efforts to attract partners with a passion for education and seek to facilitate connecting like-minded industry participants.