Alexander R. Malaket contributes to the ICC Global Trade Report 2018

Posted on:
May 29, 2018

Global Trade – Securing Future Growth

By Alexander R. Malaket CITP, CTFP
Alexander R. Malaket is Chair, ICC Banking Commission Market Intelligence

Trade deficit bad. Protectionism good. Exports good. Imports bad.

Surely we can do better, even in these highly politicised, cynical times.

Informed, thoughtful and statesman-like dialogue on international trade is more urgent than ever. That is the backdrop against which this 10th anniversary edition of the Banking Commission’s flagship edition is being published.

Trade today is about much more than one nation or one trading partner winning at the expense of another. It is about much more than straightforward imports or exports, and the simplistic, zero-sum rhetoric of the day.

So experts must communicate clearly and compellingly on trade – and move beyond dispassionate, academic discourse.

Trade is on its way to regaining its familiar, pre-crisis position as an engine of global GDP growth. The fundamental role of trade-related financing and risk mitigation is now broadly acknowledged, and there is a more informed view of the importance of sustainability in trade and global supply chains. Above all, there is greater appreciation for the importance of equitably distributing the benefits of trade around the globe.

Digitalisation of trade, both in the physical supply chain and in the financial supply chain, will reshape trade in fundamental ways. The application of disruptive technologies, increasingly ubiquitous platforms that enable trade, and the common application of the latest technology to expand delivery channels: these all expand execution and accelerate transaction lifecycles. Combined, they offer the promise of true transformation, and spreading the benefits of trade more fairly, and into the deepest links in global and regional supply chains.

In these new realities trade will help secure global economic growth.

Sustainable success demands more than developing and deploying technology; more than adopting new business practices, and even more than rebuilding trust with society, so business can do well by doing good, so trade can be win/ win.

Success in fulfilling the promise of trade demands thoughtful, effective advocacy: tell the story in a compelling way of why trade matters and is worth pursuing in an open, rules-based, and more open architecture, and why it is imperative for leaders and influencers to take a wider view of international commerce.

This year’s edition of the ICC Banking Commission’s “Global Trade – Securing Future Growth” report contributes to this dialogue, viewed through the lens of trade finance and supply chain finance, which trade relies on.

The core analysis of key findings from the annual survey is enriched by contributions from leading thinkers and influencers on global trade and trade financing. The report presents a powerful combination of messages for a more thoughtful, inclusive and mutually beneficial outlook on international trade for all. We asked these experts game- changing questions: how can we safeguard the planet, its inhabitants, and global economic growth? Can we achieve effective and balanced regulation with Ethical Business Regulation (EBR)? The report provides data and fact-based assessments of digitalisation’s effects on trade finance and the 200 billion data filed interactions, and gauges the impact Berne Union members have on 14% of global merchandise trade. It also brings into relief the annual trade finance gap, now US$1.5 trillion, and the economic value and potential it represents to make trade more inclusive.

This anniversary edition is rich in market data, observations and analysis. Readers can look at the information provided from a practical, transaction and operational view or a strategic
view. Readers can use the insights and data to advocate internally or engage influencers and leaders at the highest levels of policy, political and international circles.

Our sincere thanks to all who made this 10th edition, including our Editorial Board, the Banking Commission team in Paris, the authors and contributing partners, and the partners and sponsors cited on the acknowledgements page. And above all, thanks to our readers. We hope this publication will help you navigate and better understand the trade corridors, supply chains and global architecture that enables trade flows worth many trillions every year.