The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Trade Finance Program (TFP) and Cooperative Bank (CB Bank) on October 6 signed an agreement that enables the TFP to provide guarantees of up to $12 million per annum in support of the trade finance operations of CB Bank. This marks the first such ADB TFP facility to assist trade finance capacity for a local bank in Myanmar.
“Under this agreement, ADB and CB Bank are partnering to support exporting and importing companies in Myanmar, including small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Steven Beck, ADB’s head of trade finance. “This agreement will help develop the trade sector and create jobs.”
ADB’s TFP guarantees will help banks in the US, Europe, Singapore, Thailand, People’s Republic of China and elsewhere work with Myanmar banks to support more international trade with Myanmar companies. The main instrument of trade finance, the letter of credit, can help develop new trading networks by using the banking system and globally accepted customs and practices to help establish new trading networks.
The TFP’s loans and guarantees will be complemented by workshops and seminars to increase knowledge and expertise about trade finance which will result in more support to exporting and importing companies in the country, according to ADB.
Backed by ADB’s AAA credit rating, the TFP provides guarantees and loans to over 200 partner banks to support trade, enabling more companies throughout Asia to engage in import and export activities.
With dedicated trade finance specialists and a response time of 24 hours, the TFP has established itself as a key partner in the international trade community, providing fast, reliable, and responsive trade finance support to fill market gaps in the region’s most challenging markets. Since 2009, the TFP has supported more than 6,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in about 10,000 transactions valued at over $20 billion in a wide range of sectors, from commodities and capital goods to medical supplies and consumer goods.
To increase its capacity to support transactions, and in an effort to draw the private sector more into developing Asia, TFP shares and distributes risk with international financial institutions. Swiss Re insurance and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore will be the first of those partners to support the TFP in Myanmar. IE Singapore is the government agency that spearheads the overseas growth of Singapore-based companies and promotes international trade.