Officially-supported trade finance: Challenges and opportunities in times of crisis

The expansion of trade finance has significantly supported international trade in recent decades. Because only a small part of foreign trade is paid in advance, there is a substantial need to facilitate financing for goods or services. Officially-supported export credits play a key role in mobilising financing from private-sector sources, creating catalytic effects. Government export credit agencies (ECAs) help firms to grow and succeed internationally through additionality.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict puts the fragile global trade recovery at significant risk. In addition, businesses and governments need to embrace a changing economic landscape due to COVID-19. Exporters also have to deal with growing multipolarity, rising fragmentation and harder problems such as exploding commodity prices, disrupted supply chains, sanctions and policy-induced import restrictions.

How can government ECAs intervene for the public benefit in times of crises? What is required to support green exports as catalysts for innovation and sustainable development? Officially-supported trade finance instruments are at the beginning stages of a seismic transformation.