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BACB hosts British Exporters Association industry roundtable

Posted on 09/02/2023

Trade Finance

BACB hosted the British Exporters Association (BExA) for its Industry Committee meeting on Tuesday 7th February.

The first formal event since BACB re-joined the national trade organisation last year, it was an opportunity to connect with industry peers and forge new ties within the UK trade space.

In attendance were almost 40 delegates representing a healthy mix of exporters, financiers, insurers, brokers, and analysts.

Chaired by Cristina Bergomi of GE Capital, the meeting began with a lively exchange of views from across the spectrum of UK trade, with every member invited to share their insights in a casual roundtable setting.

Committee members highlighted the shifting geopolitical landscape and its impact on trade, yet despite these headwinds 2023 appeared to have started off well with high volumes for the majority of traders.

Fittingly, there was also a focus on African markets and new opportunities arising in the Middle East, with many noting the growing demand for renewable energy projects as the energy transition picks up momentum.

A rise in alternative sources of capital and the evolving role of ECAs was another hot topic, notably the prevalence of export credit in the commodities space, securing entire supply chains from the mine to production.

Committee members spoke of some of the challenges of working with ECAs that can at times disadvantage SMEs. BExA is due to launch its 13th annual UK Export Finance Benchmarking Paper, which compares the UK’s ECA against others around the world.

Attention also turned to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s mini cabinet reshuffle, having appointed a new Secretary of State for Business and Trade only hours prior to the meeting. BExA Managing Director Michelle Guile confirmed the Association will be engaging with Director Generals from both the new Government department and UKEF in the coming weeks.

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The roundtable was followed by a brief presentation by BACB’s Head of Trade Finance Damian Austin, and Nabil Frik, Managing Director, Africa, Middle East and Indian Ocean. Damian delivered an introduction to BACB for committee members, outlining the bank’s services and target geographies, while Nabil presented a case study on Mauritania, a budding frontier market.

BACB Chief Banking Officer and Deputy CEO Paul Jennings, commented: “It’s great to once again have a seat at the table and to join our industry peers at the British Exporters Association for another fruitful discussion on the state of UK trade. As a specialist financier operating in emerging markets, BACB brings unique insights into the current challenges facing UK exporters. We are keen to work closely with BExA and support their vital work in developing UK trade relations and improving the current environment for traders, representing the interests of our clients and the markets we serve.”

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