Friday 6 April 2018

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE - Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal at SMBC

Dear Members and Friends,

If the first quarter of 2018 is anything to go by for the remainder of the year, then we are in for what could be a bumpy and painful ride in the next nine months for emerging markets, which could end up in laughter or in tears. Credit has shown signs of frailty and weakness across the board, and from this point, the cracks can either become exacerbated or simply patched up. It’s anyone’s bet, that’s how fluid and delicate the situation is.

Going forward, it is going to take some consummate crystal-ball gazing to predict how the tête-à-tête between two of the world’s largest economies in the US and China will impact economies, companies and the markets in general in the months to come. What is expected to be extremely challenging for market participants across all the investment spectrum is the escalation of the whole situation; if it will remain confined and controlled or whether it will impact the greater scheme of things. But as a very experienced trade economist (and past contributor to these pages) told me at least these are battles and it’s not war – yet…

In the April edition of the ITFA Newsletter André Casterman, the chair of our fintech committee, has contributed ''ITFA Fintechs on Stage in London at Commonwealth Bank of Australia’’ following our successful inaugural fintech demo evening at CBA. Shannon Manders (GTR) interviews our very own Silja Calac - ''Don’t be Afraid of making Mistakes.'' The ITFA Board is also pleased to announce that we have a new ITFA Board Member, Head of Asian Activities, Ms Sophia Xiao, who takes over from Ms Jane Li and whom we thank for the sterling work she has done for ITFA. On another positive note, we are delighted to introduce four new ITFA members; VTeam Financial Service Group, BMCE Bank International plc, Zurich Credit and Political Risks and Banco Cooperativo Espanol (BCE).

Preparations for the 45th Annual International Trade and Forfaiting Conference which will be held in Cape Town between the 4th and 6th of September, are bounding ahead with the Gala Dinner venue now booked. As we have announced, the conference programme has now been finalised and can be found here. We urge you all to register and hope to see you in Cape Town.

We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may want to share with us by sending an email to myself, any of the Board Members or to our general email,  

Best wishes,
Sean Edwards

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