Finance for Trade

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This guide is a road map for navigating the waters that have been charted over years of accumulated expertise in trade financing. It is intended as a practical work of reference that draws on and adapts traditional and new techniques, mechanisms, instruments and in situations with the intent to stimulate trade finance practices through changes, especially in the private sector and with particular reference to the needs and concerns of small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries and transition economies.

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The notion of comparative advantage has been a pillar of international trade theory for at least the last two centuries. The current globalization process has not only made traditional factor costs less relevant, with the availability of cheaper money, labour, raw materials and production costs, even in far-off markets, but it has also facilitated more efficient allocation of financial resources and numerous new financial instruments. Today, international capital movements in one single day can exceed a year’s global trade in goods and services. Thus, today’s challenge is to take advantage of the opportunities offered by international financial institutions to foster growth in all sectors.

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