Trade financing scheme to boost Singapore exports to emerging markets

Singapore companies exporting goods to emerging Asian markets will now have easier access to trade finance.

A new programme, launched on Thursday by trade agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, will provide credit guarantees to Singapore banks against the non-payment risk of banks in emerging Asian markets such as Myanmar and Central Asia.

The scheme is expected to support additional exports of US$1 billion (S$1.26 bilion) annually from Singapore to emerging Asia, and benefit 250 Singapore companies per year.

The risks of transacting with financial entities in emerging markets is usually difficult to assess and can be a constraint on trade. For instance, Singapore banks might not be willing to take on the risks of accepting letters of credit from foreign banks, which might lead to the trade transaction falling through.

Under the scheme, banks here will be able to obtain credit guarantees for these transactions.

IE Singapore will share the risk on these credit guarantees with the Asian Development Bank and insurer Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

The new programme is an expansion of an existing credit guarantee scheme offered globally by the Asian Development Bank, known as the Trade Finance Programme.

The volume of trade transactions by Singapore supported under this programme has grown fourfold since 2010, reaching a high of US$1.7 billion in 2012.