EBRD joins other MDBs and WTO in support for trade during coronavirus crisis

By Anthony Williams
@ebrdtony

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Bank providing record levels of trade finance in Covid-19 battle

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has joined other multilateral development banks and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a drive to provide urgently needed support for trade during the coronavirus crisis.

The pandemic has led to a devastating economic downturn. International trade has been affected by a reduction in the supply of trade finance. Insufficient trade finance threatens to compromise otherwise-viable trade transactions.

In a joint statement, the EBRD, the WTO, International Finance Corporation, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, said: “We … pledge to work together to ensure that trade finance remains available through this difficult period, just as we did during the global financial crisis of 2008-10.”

They added, “We … will join forces to monitor ongoing developments and act to fill financing gaps that emerge. We prioritize our support to areas in the world where such support is needed most, particularly the poorest countries. We also call on other institutions, trade credit insurers, central banks, other public-backed and private sector institutions to join current efforts and support essential trade finance transactions.”

Stepping up its support under its Trade Facilitation Programme, the EBRD provided amplified financing for trade with a record €1.5 billion for the first five months of 2020 in the 38 economies in Europe, Asia and Africa where it currently invests.

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