Commonwealth Small States Trade Finance Facility – Inaugural Supervisory Board Meeting
Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, Dr Chris Cardona, addressed the inaugural Supervisory Board Meeting of the Commonwealth Small States Trade Finance Facility, chaired by The Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland, which was held in Malta earlier today.
During the meeting, the Supervisory Board discussed an action plan for the way forward now that all the enabling agreements have been concluded. It is envisaged that the Small States Trade Finance Facility (SSTFF) will play an important role in enhancing trade and investment finance particularly for small Commonwealth States with limited access to international trade finance. This new facility has the potential to have a hugely positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of people in small states of the Commonwealth.
“The economic empowerment of a nation is critical in the development of our communities and for the sustainable development of society,” stated Minister Cardona. “Now more than ever, we must demonstrate the Commonwealth’s ability to lead the response to today’s global economic challenges and do our utmost to influence global trade policy at a macro, as well as, a micro level.”
The facility was developed over the span of five years by a working group including the International Finance Corporation, Government of Malta, Central Bank of Malta, Export Import Bank of India and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
This working group developed a mechanism, in the form of a guarantee facility, that will encourage international banks to offer higher trade finance lines to financial institutions in the small states by reducing their credit risk. The facility is hosted and administered by Malta.
The Small States Trade Finance Facility (SSTFF) was formally launched in November 2015, through a joint press conference by the Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat and the Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland.