Asian Development Bank Trade Finance Survey: Major Findings

Date: March 2013
Type: Papers and Briefs
Series: ADB Briefs
ISBN: 978-92-9092-992-5 (print), 978-92-9092-993-2 (web)
ISSN: 2071-7202 (print), 2218-2675 (web)


Key Points

  • A gap in trade finance is represented by unmet demand for lending and guarantees to support $1.6 trillion in trade, $425 billion of which is in developing Asia;
  • Availability of trade finance impacts economic growth and job creation;
  • According to the findings of the survey, an increase of 5% in availability of trade finance could result in an increase of 2% in production and 2% more jobs; and
  • Trade finance programs of multilateral development banks help fill trade finance gaps, both globally and in Asian developing economies.

A survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2012 to see whether any gaps for trade finance could be identified and quantified, and what, if any, is the relationship between these gaps and business expansion and job creation, both of which are crucial to economic growth and poverty reduction.

Findings from this study will help stimulate debate on the importance of trade finance and draw attention to its implications on growth, jobs, and poverty reduction. The survey may also stimulate more rigorous and in-depth study in this area.


Findings from this survey suggest that trade finance gaps exist and need to be addressed because of the strong links between trade finance, business expansion, and job creation. It also underscores the importance of further study and collaboration among multilateral development banks, government, financial institutions, and companies to ensure maximum financial support to trade is available, given that the interlinked component parts of trade finance, business expansion, and jobs need coordination to create as much growth and poverty reduction as possible.