BAFT News and Press Releases

Please direct all media inquiries to Blair Bernstein (Public Relations) or Gregory Kramer (General Communications).

October 2013 Global Update

by Melissa Edwards | Oct 21, 2013

BAFT-IFSA Global Trade and Finance Update

October 10, 2013

Table of Contents

Conference Update


Europe and Central Asia

Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

U.S. and Latin America

Upcoming Events

Thank You To Our Affinity Partners

jpmorgan - transparent -intl trade                      Bank of America-web

Quote of the Week

“A trade facilitation agreement is as close to a ’win-win’ agreement as exists in the real world. Both developed and developing countries would benefit — but after years of efforts to deliver on Doha’s development mandate, we can reduce costs of trade for developing countries most of all. By some estimates, a trade facilitation agreement is estimated to reduce costs for trade of developed countries by 10 percent, but 14 percent for developing countries."

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, in his keynote address at the World Trade Organization Public Forum 2013
October 1, 2013

Conference Update

New Programs Added to the International Trade Conference

23rd Annual Conference on International Trade
Beyond the Horizon: The Future of Trade
November 6-8, 2013
InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Chicago, IL
Register Now | View Program

Newly added sessions:

  • Future of Trade - Listen to a panel of top executives from banks with assets ranging from $14 billion up to $ 1.4 trillion as they discuss trade finance— its nuances, strategies and opportunities, and where each bank segment might be headed in the future.
  • Non-Banks Enter the Supply Chain Space: Are They A Threat Or Opportunity? – Numerous partnerships, ie. Mastercard/Basware, Tungsten/OB10, TradeShift/CapitalAid, Ariba/Discover, have formed to bridge the financing/banking and eProcurement, e-invoicing, purchase-to-pay and supplier network worlds in the last few months, while some companies are exiting relationships, ie. Visa divesting from Syncada, JPMorgan closing their invoicing software company. Join David Justin, President of Global Business Intelligence, who will discuss these recent developments.

Special Room Rates End October 15
Hotel room block rates end October 15. Make sure to register today, and reserve your room at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile today to take advantage of the $249 room rate. Use group code KE4 (BAFT-IFSA).

Sponsorship Opportunities are still available

We have various sponsorship options available, including several new opportunities, to fit your sponsorship goals and budget. Some sponsorship opportunities to highlight include:

  • Live stream of entire conference and individual session capture: maximum branding exposure, during and 12 months after the conference
  • Door drop: personalized welcome gifts distributed in each attendee’s guest rooms
  • Registration folder: The guaranteed material every attendee will see and get at the conference
  • And more!

Please contact Kathryn Hoch at or 202-663-5536 to find out about opportunities to have your brand well represented in front of this prestigious group. Please pass this information on to all supplier and vendors that you work with who would benefit from becoming part of this group.


Azevêdo Opens Public Forum 2013: “Innovation is an Important Driver for Trade Flows”

On October 1, 2013, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo welcomed participants to the three-day WTO Public Forum 2013, stating, "Trade and innovation are also both well-placed in government strategies for economic growth. Both trade and innovation have the potential to create new opportunities, by increasing productivity and competitiveness…I am sure there are many aspects related to trade that would benefit from innovation. Just to mention one, innovation in trade finance is clearly needed, especially for small economies facing the consequences of this severe economic crisis."
Read More

WTO Public Forum Day 3 Looks at Bali Issues

Forum panelists presented their country experiences in building up trade facilitation capacities. The World Bank spent USD 5.8 billion on trade facilitation assistance in 2013 and will support developing countries in implementing their possible commitments. The OECD presented its trade facilitation indicators, a tool to help policy makers identify areas for action. The OECD noted that simplifying documents, procedures and improving information availability can greatly reduce trade cost.
Read More

IMF Survey: Global Growth Patterns Shifting

Global growth is still in low gear and the drivers of growth are shifting, says the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report. The IMF forecasts global growth to average 2.9 percent in 2013—below the 3.2 percent recorded in 2012—and to rise to 3.6 percent in 2014.
Read More

IMF's 2013 Annual Report: Promoting a More Secure and Stable Global Economy

The global economy is in better shape, but the road to a robust and comprehensive recovery remains bumpy, says IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in an introduction to the institution’s Annual Report, published October 1, 2013. “Decisive actions by policymakers during the year successfully defused the most immediate risks to the global economy,” observes Lagarde. But global growth remains too weak and too uneven.
Read More

World Bank: Developing Countries to Receive Over $410 Billion in Remittances in 2013

Remittances to the developing world are expected to grow by 6.3 percent this year to $414 billion and are projected to cross the half-trillion mark by 2016, according to revised estimates and forecasts issued October 2, 2013 by the World Bank. India and China alone will represent nearly a third of total remittances to the developing world this year. Remittance volumes to developing countries, as a whole, are projected to continue growing strongly over the medium term, averaging an annual growth rate of 9 percent to reach $540 billion in 2016.
Read More

BIS Preliminary Release of Statistics on Payment, Clearing and Settlement Systems in the CPSS Countries

The Bank for International Settlements published a preliminary release, "Statistics on payment, clearing and settlement systems in the CPSS countries - Figures for 2012". This version of the statistical update contains data for 2012 and earlier years. There are detailed tables for each individual country as well as a number of comparative tables.
Read More

Basel III News Roundup: Results of the Basel III Monitoring Exercise, the Evolution of the Basel Committee, and Regulatory Consistency Assessment Programme (RCAP) Assessment of Basel III Regulations - China

The Basel Committee published a report that presents the results of the Basel Committee's Basel III monitoring exercise as of December 31, 2012. The study is based on the rigorous reporting processes set up by the Committee to periodically review the implications of the Basel III standards for financial markets.
Click here to access the report

Stefan Ingves, Chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and Governor of Sveriges Riksbank, spoke at a symposium to mark 25 years of the Basel Capital Accord “25 years of international financial regulation: Challenges and opportunities, Basel, September 26, 2013.". He said, “Among the many factors that have influenced the work of the [Basel] Committee over the years…is the evolution from a coordinating and information-sharing group to one that has become a standard setter."
Click here to read the keynote address

The Basel Committee also published a report that presents the findings of the Basel Committee's RCAP Assessment Team on the domestic adoption of Basel III risk-based capital standards in China and their consistency with Basel Committee requirements.
Click here to access the report


Return to Top


Europe and Central Asia

Statement by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on October 4, 2013 on the Cancellation of 2nd Round of TTIP Negotiations in Brussels Due to the U.S. Administration Shutdown

"U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman telephoned me earlier today. He informed me that due to the on-going furlough, the US Administration will not be able to send to Brussels next week officials from USTR and US Government agencies to maintain the planned second round of negotiations in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). All negotiation sessions planned for next week (7-11 October 2013) in Brussels are therefore cancelled. The US side has promised to provide us with further information as soon as is feasible on when and how further occasions for engagement - including negotiation rounds - can be scheduled. Let me reiterate the clear commitment of both the EU and the US to the TTIP process. The cancellation of next week's negotiation round in Brussels is clearly unfortunate but let me underline that it in no way distracts us from our overall aim of achieving an ambitious trade and investment deal between Europe and the US which will bring real economic benefit to people on both sides of the Atlantic."

ECB Establishes New Framework for Assessment of Securities Settlement Systems and Links

The European Central Bank (ECB) published a new “Framework for the assessment of securities settlement systems and links to determine their eligibility for use in Eurosystem credit operations” on September 27, 2013. The new streamlined user assessment framework introduces considerable procedural simplifications, while also continuing to ensure a high level of protection for the Eurosystem against losses in the conduct of its credit operations.
Read More

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development: Is Emerging Europe Becoming a “New Safe Haven”?

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement in June 2013 of a possible tapering of its asset purchase program led to a reversal of capital flows from emerging markets and significant market volatility. The correlation between different asset classes and markets has weakened since the Fed’s announcement. One remarkable exception from this pattern among emerging markets is the recent performance of the new EU member states. Fundamentals in the new EU member states have been improving; yet, the growth performance of CEB, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania has been on average weaker than that of other emerging markets.
Read More

Peter Praet: "Japan and the EU in the Global Economy – Challenges and Opportunities"

In his speech at a conference organized by Bruegel, the Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University, and Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS, Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, spoke about the policy challenges faced by Japan and the EU, with a focus on how to manage the deleveraging process in the euro area, referencing the Japanese experience during the 1990s.
Read More

U.K. to Create New Payments Systems Regulator

The U.K. Government is introducing amendments to create a competition-focused utility style regulator for payment systems, under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This will not affect the existing role of the Bank of England under the Banking Act 2009, in overseeing recognized inter-bank payment systems for stability purposes. The Payment Systems Regulator will have objectives to promote competition, innovation, and the interests of end-users. The Payment Systems Regulator will be able to oversee all domestic payment systems which are brought into the regulator’s scope by being designated by HM Treasury.
Read More


Return to Top


Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

Africa Continues to Grow Strongly: GDP Growth in Africa Will Reach 5.3% in 2014 and 5.5% in 2015

The World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, a twice-yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects, notes that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains strong with growth forecasted to be 4.9% in 2013. Almost a third of countries in the region are growing at 6% and more, and African countries are now routinely among the fastest-growing countries in the world.
Read More

Developing Asia Slowing Amid Global Financial Jitters

A new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report, Asian Development Outlook 2013, says softer than expected economic activity in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India and jitters over the United States (U.S.) quantitative easing (QE) program will weigh on Asia and the Pacific’s growth prospects in the near term. ADB revised down its 2013 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for the region to 6% from 6.6% seen in April. For 2014, growth is now projected at 6.2% from 6.7% in April. In 2012, growth came in at 6.1%.
Read More

Developing East Asia Slows, But Continues to Lead Global Growth at 7.1% in 2013

The East Asia Pacific Economic Update, released October 7, 2013, says developing East Asia is expanding at a slower pace, as China shifts from an export-oriented economy and focuses on domestic demand. Growth in larger middle income countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand is also softening in light of lower investment, lower global commodity prices and lower than expected growth of exports. The growth forecast for developing countries in the region is 7.1 percent for 2013, and 7.2 percent for 2014. While this is a slight downward revision from World Bank projections in April 2013, developing East Asia is leading other regions.
Read More

APEC Leaders Release Declaration and Reconfirm Commitment to Trade Finance for SMEs

APEC Leaders concluded their meeting in Bali on October 8, 2013 by issuing a declaration under the theme: “Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth”, which includes support for attaining the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by 2020, and a statement that supports the Multilateral Trading System and the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization. In particular, APEC leaders will encourage regional collaboration to facilitate trade finance for SMEs, recognizing that trade finance instruments can help facilitate trade and can support SMEs that trade internationally
Read More

OECD: Emerging Asian Economies Expected to Remain Resilient But Structural Reform Critical

The economic outlook for Emerging Asia (Southeast Asia, China and India) remains robust over the medium term, anchored by the steady rise in domestic demand, according to a new report from the OECD Development Centre. GDP growth in Emerging Asia is projected to moderate gradually but stay resilient over the 2014-18 period, with an average annual growth of 6.9%, albeit less than the 8.6% registered before the global financial crisis (2000-07). The region will continue to play an important role in global growth.
Read More


Return to Top


U.S. and Latin America

U.S. Federal Government Shut Down

The U.S. Federal Government is currently shut down. The following agencies are not updating their websites at this time: The U.S. Department of Commerce, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the services and activities provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Economic Development Administration, Economics and Statistics Administration, Minority Business Development Agency, and Bureau of the Census and most services and activities provided by the International Trade Administration will not be available during a lapse in FY14 appropriations.

Ex-Im Bank posted its plan for short-term interruption. All new obligations as well as delegated authority to exporters and/or banks under insurance and guarantee programs (such as the Working Capital Delegated Authority Program) will be suspended while Ex-Im Bank is shut down. The Bank will continue to process and deposit funds received. The Bank will pay claims under its guarantee and insurance programs, which carry the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. This plan does not account for the activities of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Also, the majority of the electronic capabilities are not operational such as EXIM Online, Electronic Claim Filing System, Letter of Interest Application, Electronic Compliance System, and all user specific incoming Email.

IDB Publishes Trade and Integration Monitor 2013: Growing Importance of South-South Trade for Latin America and Caribbean

In recent decades the developing countries of the South have grown at a faster pace than those of the North, changing the pattern of global growth. For countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC), this has translated into relatively lower demand in traditional export destinations, and an unprecedented opportunity to break into new markets and expand trade with emerging economies.
Read More


Return to Top