Businesses of all sizes continue to struggle to access sufficient credit, resulting in a global trade finance gap of $1.5 trillion in 2016, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) Brief released on Tuesday, reports BSS.
Developing Asia's share of the trade finance gap was 40 per cent of the global total.
In its fifth annual study, 2017 Trade Finance Gaps, Growth and Jobs Survey, ADB quantifies market gaps for trade finance and explores their impact on growth and jobs through a survey of over 515 banks and 1,336 firms from 103 countries.
While the global trade finance gap stabilising in 2016 compared to the 2015 record high of $1.6 trillion, it still translated to missed growth opportunities and job creation.
"A sizeable trade finance gap is a drag on trade, growth, and job creation," said Steven Beck, Head of Trade Finance at ADB.
"We hope the results of the survey will encourage private and public sectors to ramp up collaborative efforts to improve businesses' access to trade finance. Our Trade Finance Program (TFP) is here to assist and address these market gaps," Beck added.
Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have the biggest difficulties in accessing trade finance, representing 74 per cent of total rejections last year, compared to just 57 per cent in 2015. This high rejection rate means foregone trade, which is a drag on overall economic growth.
The ADB study suggests that a 10 per cent increase in trade finance globally could boost employment by 1.0 per cent.
Findings in the study revealed that one of the biggest reasons financial institutions are reluctant to provide trade finance to small businesses is rooted in the cost and complexity of anti-financial crimes due diligence and the perception of low returns on financial support from smaller firms (reported by 29 per cent of banks).
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