Front Matter

Front Matter

Jian-Ye Wang, and Márcio Ronci
Published Date:
February 2006
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© 2005 International Monetary Fund

Production: IMF Multimedia Services Division

Cover Design: Lai Oy Louie

Page Design: Alicia Etchebarne-Bourdin

Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Access to trade finance in times of crisis: conference proceedings/editors, Jian-Ye Wang, Marcio Ronci—Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 2005.

p. cm.

ISBN 9781589064041

1. Exports—Finance. 2. Export credit. 3. Financial crises. 4. Development banks. 5. World Trade Organization. I. Wang, Jian-Ye. II. Ronci, Marcio Valerio.

HG3753.A33 2005

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This book would not have been possible without the contribution of many people within the Policy Development and Review Department (PDR) and International Capital Markets Department (ICM) of the International Monetary Fund. The seminar from which this book originated was devised by Timothy F. Geithner (former Director of PDR) and Martin Gilman (PDR) and supported by Gerd Häusler (Director of ICM). The seminar was organized by Martin Gilman, Jian-Ye Wang, and Marcio Ronci, with assistance of Ritha Khemani (PDR), Cheng Hoon Lim (ICM), Sulochana Kamaldini (PDR), and Helaway Tadesse (PDR).

The editors are grateful to Helaway Tadesse and Julie Kozack (both PDR) for organizing the various authors’ contributions; Siddhartha Choudhury (PDR) for the preparation of tables and charts; Sulochana Kamaldini, Lorna Campbell, and Esther George for secretarial assistance (all PDR); and Gail O. Berre and David Einhorn (External Relations Department) for editing the manuscript and coordinating production.


Trade finance has long been an important component of international financial flows, as firms—particularly in emerging-market economies—rely heavily on bank-financed trade credits to support their export and import activities. Indeed, credits that facilitate international trade are so routine and taken for granted that their significant presence tends to be overlooked during times of normal economic activity. However, as recent experience has shown, trade finance can fall dramatically during episodes of financial crisis. Such a sharp contraction can prevent even creditworthy borrowers from securing adequate funds to finance their ordinary export and import activities. As a result, a country’s ability to recover from the crisis can be seriously compromised, as credit constraints faced by exporters hold back their ability to contribute to economic recovery and growth.

Despite the central role played by trade finance, there has been surprisingly limited analysis of its role in international capital flows, especially during periods of crisis. This volume of essays on trade finance in financial crisis attempts to address this gap. The collection of essays is largely based on a seminar held at the International Monetary Fund in May 2003 involving participants from both the private and public sector as well as experts in academia and research institutions.

The volume attempts to view the issue of trade finance from three perspectives. In Part I, several authors present perspectives on why and how much trade finance flows decline during periods of financial crisis. The specific experiences of several countries, including Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, and Korea, are reviewed in Part II. Finally, Part III presents some options for mitigating declines in trade finance during financial crisis, both by reviewing responses taken in the past and by looking forward to potential tools that might be utilized in the future.

While recognizing that a comprehensive macroeconomic and structural reform program will remain essential to any effort to recover from a crisis, we aim to encourage further thinking on specific responses that countries may consider to forestall a decline in trade finance. We hope the dissemination of this collection of papers will serve this purpose.

Mark Allen

Director, IMF Policy Development and Review Department

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