;

Ambitious ITFA revamp looks to the future

The International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA), formerly the International Forfaiting Association (IFA), has undergone an ambitious revamp focused on playing a bigger role in a changing market landscape and building a more viable structure for the future.

The International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA), formerly the International Forfaiting Association (IFA), has undergone an ambitious revamp focused on playing a bigger role in a changing market landscape and building a more viable structure for the future.

Details of the changes were discussed at the association’s annual conference – on its fifteenth anniversary – held in Barcelona this week. The event welcomed 173 participants from 29 countries, while speakers included African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) vice president Dr Benedict Oramah and Markus Wohlgeschaffen, head of global trade finance and services at UniCredit Please wait... , among others.

Amongst a raft of new measures to be introduced by ITFA are; a database of members; more lobbying and influence over regulators and regulatory decisions; deeper relationships with various stakeholders in the sector; a new website with better aesthetics and greater functionality, including the ability for members to write and upload articles on relevant issues; creating an expansive young professionals network; and more exposure for the association via participation at conferences and media interviews.

“We want to grow as an association. We are a niche player rather than the biggest player, but we want to be bigger. We want to be a strong voice for our market that is in contact with other important associations, such as the ICC or BAFT,” says Paolo Provera, ITFA chairman.

“We also want to build greater credibility and develop our market presence. We are currently recognised as a European association but we are actually international,” adds Provera.

This last aim received a significant boost at the conference when Eric Intong Monchu, manager for trade finance at Afreximbank, announced the supranational bank’s intention to join the association. A partnership with Afreximbank could be instrumental for ITFA in gaining traction with banks in African countries.

Teresa Casal, advisor for special projects at ITFA, added that the voluntary association would also be targeting other emerging markets – including China and Russia – based on their growth potential for trade finance.

Meanwhile, Albania’s Banka Kombetare Tregtare joined the association in another indication of its widening reach.

“We are a body of skilled, experienced practitioners. We have more than 150 years of collective experience and knowledge as well as a young generation driving the association forward,” says Casal.

The association will try to leverage the potential of its younger members through its new initiative ‘Young Professionals in Trade Finance & Forfaiting: Let’s Build the Future!’

Headed by Johanna Wissing (Barclays Please wait... ), the initiative will include networking events, training courses and a flagship-mentoring programme that will see young professionals paired up with their more experienced counterparts.

“The development of young potential is key to the continued growth and on-going success of global trade in today’s world, and in the ever-evolving and growing trade finance markets,” says Wissing.

“Our aim is to help support young trade finance practitioners’ professional growth by developing a strong network that fosters education, knowledge exchange, transfer of ideas and skills, and a lot more.”

TXF will take a more in-depth look at ITFA’s revamp in its upcoming special report on trade and supply chain finance 2014.

Sign in to post a comment. If you don't have an account register here.

You Might also like

X

A key event in the export, agency & project finance event calendar for senior and influential professionals working across the Asia-Pacific region. Networking and deal opportunities abound!

TXF Asia 2019