ICC Banking Commission meeting concludes successfully

May 1, 2014 11:46 am

The four-day long ICC Banking Commission meeting organised and hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce concluded today (Wednesday) with finance and trade delegates coming up with constructive recommendations.

Held from April 27 to 30 at the Chamber headquarters under the title, Dubai 2014 – Gateway to Sustainable Trade and Development, the meeting was a hit with over 427 attendees from 60 countries as the gathering turned out to be the largest in the history of the ICC Banking Commission meetings.

The delegates consisted of World Bank, World Trade Organisation, business leaders, finance experts, lawyers, government and ICC UAE Regional Banking Commission officials who succeeded in their objective of forging new business partnerships and alliances by developing connections and sharing ideas.

The discussion topics focused on issues such as the new engines of growth in trade finance, value creation opportunities and prospects for the industry as well as harmonisation of business practices, the development of a common terminology for supply chain finance, and the impact of compliance requirements and sanctions on business.

In his keynote address, H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice-Chairman, Dubai Chamber, expressed his pleasure in the Chamber’s hosting of the ICC Banking Commission bi-annual meeting in Dubai for the second time.

“Our partnership with the ICC Banking Commission is excellent and this global event has helped Dubai forge a very strong relationship with the ICC Banking Commission and the delegates coming from all over the world. We hope, by hosting this prestigious conference we are able to highlight the city’s advantages for the global trade, banking and finance communities,” said H.E. Al Shirawi.

Dubai is certainly one of the world’s most connected cities and a gateway to trade and business opportunities throughout the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. The ICC Banking Commission’s selection of the city reiterates its position as a major centre for international exhibitions, events and conferences as well as a leading global trade and finance hub, he said.

The 2nd Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber further stressed that business and consumer confidence in Dubai is currently very strong and it will continue to rise with the impetus of Expo 2020. Trade contributes 30% to GDP and providing trade finance services that meet the needs of the rapidly changing world is important for Dubai’s future growth, he added.

H.E. Al Shirawi urged the attendees to benefit from the economic advantages offered by Dubai as he said that the long partnership between Dubai Chamber and the International Chamber of Commerce has been very fruitful and is rightly meeting its purpose of supporting the business community of the emirate.

Also launched during a press conference on Wednesday at the Chamber head office was the Global Supply Chain Finance (SCF) Forum which is led by the ICC Banking Commission. The forum seeks to clarify existing definitions and supply chain finance terminology.

It is jointly led by Euro-Banking Association (EBA), Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT), Factors Chain International (FCI), International Factors Group (IFG) and the International Forfaiting Association (IFA).

Encompassing both traditional and non-traditional products and services for Supply Chain Finance, the forum project responds to the growing need for greater harmonisation within the trade finance industry and will extend to products and services offered by financial institutions such as banks and factoring and forfaiting companies.

On his part, Kah Chye Tan, Chair of the ICC Banking Commission, said: “SCF is a growing market with considerable business opportunities identified for the near future. Today, due to the increased collaboration of bank and non-bank representatives globally and the advent of new communication technologies, it is more important to adopt universally-accepted terminology and techniques currently being developed by the industry to support increasingly globalized supply chains.”

Also during the press conference, Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice-President, International Relations, Dubai Chamber, highlighted the current outlook for Dubai’s banking and financial sector which he said is one of the leading drivers of the emirate’s economic growth.

He also pointed out the unprecedented growth in consumer confidence and spending and the emirate’s rise in the global ease of doing business index which he said further strengthens Dubai’s position as a leading global destination for trade and finance.

Focusing on the contribution of Islamic finance to the emirate’s initiative of Dubai Capital of Islamic Economy, Al Hashemi stressed that the government’s support is crucial to the growth of the sector and this is where Dubai has the advantage for the investors as he called upon the attendees to participate in the 10th session of the World Islamic Economic Forum being organised by Dubai Chamber this year as the event is an ideal platform to discuss the role and benefits of Islamic finance in global trade.

Over the four days, the gathering discussed global outlooks on markets, harmonising business practices, developing common terminology for supply chain finance and the impact of Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations and sanctions on business.

Also, the ICC Banking Commission task forces and working groups gathered at side events to discuss technical topics related to bank guarantees, anti-money laundering and compliance, factoring, forfaiting, legal issues, and regulations.

Dubai has earlier hosted the ICC Banking Commission’s meeting in March 2009 under the title ‘2009 – Crossroads for Trade and Technology, when the three-day discussion focused on the challenges facing the global finance market and impact of the global financial crisis on the industry.

The ICC Banking Commission is the world’s essential rule-making body for the banking industry and has more than 600 members from 100 countries. The Commission, since its founding over eight decades ago, has gained a reputation as the most authoritative voice in the field of trade finance.

The ICC Banking Commission produces universally accepted rules and guidelines for international banking practice. Issues publications and market intelligence, sets the rules for dispute resolution, organises regular seminars and conferences every six months and collaborates with leading policy makers and trade associations world-wide.

In order to consolidate the position of Dubai as a global business hub, the ICC Regional Banking Commission Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was launched in the emirate last year.

The idea behind the launch was to coordinate efforts in the MENA region. It has also provided an opportunity for Dubai Chamber to play a broader role to meet increasing demands for premium trade finance information and up-to-date policy and market intelligence by the business community.