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Trade finance partnerships increase options for corporates

The International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA), the worldwide trade association for companies, financial institutions and intermediaries engaged in trade and forfaiting, has established a formal association with the Trade Finance Distribution Initiative (TFD Initiative).

The TFD Initiative was established in 2019 and is an industry-wide effort to use technology and standardise the market to support the wider distribution of trade finance assets, and create a secondary trade finance marketplace with greater non-bank participation.

The partnership will give all ITFA members full access to the TFD Initiative’s workstreams and enable them to participate in live projects and proof of concepts. This will allow them to collaborate with a broad section of the industry, network with a community of trade financiers, buy-side institutions and technology partners and attend a series of events and industry workshops.

TFD Initiative will also seek to create utilities, standards and protocols for the distribution of trade assets by bringing together representatives from all interested groups in working groups.

As institutional investors are growing increasingly interested in trade finance as an alternative investment class, these new market participants represent the future of funding for those in the sector.

IFTA’s recognised role as convenor for the trade industry allows it to support and provide the necessary education needed to establish the industry as a viable asset class, Through cooperating with other institutions in developing consistent standards and rules, IFTA aims to help trade originators produce higher balance sheet velocity and increased origination.

In related news, Contour, an open trade finance network, has announced a partnership with TradeCloud, a digital portal for producers, consumers and traders. This partnership is part of Contour’s continuous expansion to build a network which can best support the needs of its growing membership base. 

The integration of TradeCloud’s web-based platform adds further efficiency to Contour’s network by automating the process of letters of credit (LC) applications.  Agreed orders from TradeCloud’s platform users are sent securely and in real-time to Contour removing the need for manual processing or reconciliation between systems as all data resides on the ledger.

This integration is made possible by having both platforms built on R3’s Corda and deployed to Corda Network. Through this collaboration, Contour is continuing to build a partner network to support both corporate and banks in the trade finance process. 

“With this relationship, our users will be able to make use of our fully digitised LCs through their TradeCloud service,” said Carl Wegner, CEO of Contour. “Our network provides trusted information in real-time, digitising the LC process for all users. Corda has also provided a natural fit for establishing a larger, more collaborative ecosystem for trade finance. Through working with TradeCloud, we will continue our goal of easing access and increasing savings for those in the trade finance sector.”


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