Bank of Valletta (BOV) CEO Kenneth Farrugia has highlighted that understanding the intricacies of trade finance “is crucial for mitigating risks and maximising opportunities.”

Mr Farrugia discussed the benefits of trade finance during a BOV seminar on the topic, held recently at Giardini Lambrosa.

“We are committed to supporting our customers’ international business ventures by providing the necessary knowledge and financial tools to help them navigate this often complex but crucial part of their business,” he stated during the seminar.

The event’s aim was to provide local businesses and entrepreneurs with essential knowledge and tools to navigate the complexities of international trade.

The seminar was led by Joseph Rodgers, who heads the bank’s Trade Finance arm.

Among the key topics covered, there were the benefits of trade finance, International Commercial Terms (Incoterms), methods of payment, and pre- and post-shipping financing.

The seminar kicked off with a presentation of the benefits of trade finance. IT detailed how financial instruments can help mitigate risks, improve cash flow, and offer security for both importers and exporters, as well as manufacturers.

The event also highlighted the importance of knowledge on Incoterms for any business engaged in global trade.

During the day, the seminary provided an extensive overview of these terms, explaining the obligations of the buyers and the sellers, the shifting of risk from seller to buyer (where and when the seller delivers) and which and who bears the cost involved.

This session aimed to reduce disputes and ensure clarity in international trade agreements, a vital aspect for any successful business relationship.

Various methods of payment, such as documentary credits (DCs), documentary collections, advance payments, and open account transactions were explained in detail.

The session highlighted the advantages and potential risks of each method, enabling businesses to make informed decisions tailored to their specific needs.

It also covered financing options available both before and after the shipment of goods.

Trade financing solutions such as back-to-back documentary credits, Collateral Management Agreement (CMA), Stock Monitoring Agreement (SMA), Security by Title Transfer Agreement (STTA), bill of lading financing, invoice discounting, factoring and reverse factoring were also discussed.

International experiences were also shared with attendees to elaborate on the importance of such trade financing. These options are designed to provide liquidity and support business growth, ensuring that companies have the necessary funds at every stage of the trade process.

The seminar concluded with an interactive Q&A session, where attendees could address specific concerns and gain personalised insights.

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