NADI, FIJI (28 June 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today gathered 40 representatives from 28 local commercial and international banks and government institutions from 11 countries in the Pacific region in a 3-day workshop. Experts from ADB’s Trade Finance Program (TFP) updated participants on anti-money laundering (AML) and trade-based money laundering concepts, ADB’s customer due diligence and environmental and social safeguard standards, case studies to show how trade finance is evolving in the region and globally, as well as recent trends in supply chain finance.

“TFP addresses money laundering and financing of terrorism in the financial system, while ensuring companies, particularly smaller ones in vulnerable economies such as the Pacific, have access to trade finance. Stopping crime in the financial system while prudently financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries is a big challenge,” said Investment Specialist at ADB’s Trade Finance Program Mr. Can Sutken. “There is room to improve efforts on both fronts: stopping financial crime and closing market gaps. This two-pronged effort is at the heart of TFP’s initiatives on AML.”

To date, Guarantee and Revolving Credit Facility agreements have been executed with 4 banks in the Pacific. TFP has supported 10 SMEs through 12 transactions in Samoa with Samoa Commercial Bank Limited valued at $300,000. These are the first export finance and foreign currency-financed trade deals in Samoa. TFP has mobilized $300,000 in cofinancing in the Pacific subregion, which helps leverage ADB resources and brings more support to ADB’s developing member countries.

Backed by ADB's AAA credit rating, TFP provides guarantees and loans to over 200 partner banks to support trade, enabling more companies throughout Asia and the Pacific to engage in import and export activities. Since 2009, ADB’s TFP has supported more than 15,000 SMEs across developing Asia—through over 21,000 transactions valued at over $36 billion—in sectors ranging from commodities and capital goods, to medical supplies and consumer goods.

In 2018, TFP grew almost 40% to support $6.2 billion in trade through 4,470 transactions.  TFP complements its financial support with knowledge products, including a study that quantifies market gaps for trade finance, initiatives to increase the role of women in banking, efforts to enhance environmental safeguards, and initiatives to fight crime through greater transparency in the global financial system. TFP also provides workshops and seminars to increase knowledge and expertise in matters related to finance, trade, risk management, and fraud prevention.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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