Dear Members and Friends,
By the time you read this article, we will be well into the final stretch of the first quarter of 2015. I am sure you will all agree that the first few months of the year have flown by and you would most probably have found it difficult keeping up with your busy schedules. But that is definitely a good sign; it means that you are laying the foundations to ensure a fruitful and rewarding year ahead.
Unfortunately we are still experiencing the effects of the Russian crisis, and the sharp slowdown in Russia’s economy is a significant shock for the economies of other sovereigns in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. The impact on these countries' credit profiles varies considerably; Armenia and Ukraine have the most direct exposure among Fitch-rated sovereigns, while the steep fall in oil prices has magnified the fallout in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, not to mention the continuous appreciation of the US dollar, which has adversely impacted emerging markets. Indirectly, the sharp fall in the rouble has been a major factor in significant currency adjustments across the region.
In fact the sanctions for Russia are so current and important that they will be addressed and discussed at the ITFA 42nd Annual Conference which will be held in Dubai at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, between the 28th and the 30th of September. This year’s conference will include an exceptional program including panels and a range of expert speakers. More details will be circulated in due course. So please…..save the date!
As always, the ITFA Board is working hard to lure new members to our society. To this effect, we are pleased and proud to announce that this month we have welcomed three new organisations to our growing family. In addition, we are currently in the process of concluding membership with another three institutions.
The recent successful Dubai Cocktail event of last month, with over 140 participants, gave us the possibility to expand our horizons and finally attract Middle East members to our family. The ITFA Board is fully committed to achieve important targets including, among others, an important increase in memberships.
New Regional Committees will be formed with the scope of divulging the ITFA mission to a broader community of Trade Finance practitioners.
Following our recent communications with all our fellow members, I am sure that you can appreciate the effort and commitment that ITFA has dedicated over recent months in attempting to increase the number of collaborations and affiliation agreements. The most recent one includes BAFT, a strategic partner for us!
Together with the various associations we collaborate with, we remain committed to bring more to you, our Members. We hope that you take advantage of the additional benefits/discounts that such collaborations provide, as well as enjoy the events we promote. We continue to strive to be a partner for you in business, deal generation and best practice, driving trade in the emerging markets.
We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may want to share with us by sending an email to myself, any of the Board Members or to our general email, firstname.lastname@example.org.