Traditionally, trade finance has been provided to import/export companies by banks and/or other financial institutions. Such dependency of the financial sector adversely affects to both importers and exporters in their needs to get either funding or credit, especially in downturn times. Actually, in any financial crisis, the inevitable shortage of cash and credit imposed by banks to their clients implies an additional burden to producers and/or manufacturers adding such lack of financing to the problems experienced by the effect of the crisis. We all know examples of companies that have been forced to reduce their activity, or even close, by the lack of liquidity or credit necessary to continue operations.
Decades ago, with that scream a group of small farmers claimed to the UNCTAD congress that the international community should open her eyes and perceive the damage caused by its policy of aid to developing countries. Such policy was based on granting loans on favourable terms to support raw materials supply from those countries to the first world companies. Actually, such funding was hardly refundable by the weak economies and stockpiled unpaid until it reached a level where the debt was either forgiven by countries or renegotiated to very long terms, becoming in fact a modern way of colonization.
Long time ago, when I was very young, I learnt to fly in a little airfield in Minorca, an island in the Mediterranean Sea. While in summer the weather was always resplendent and you could enjoy flying from dawn to sunset, the situation was quite different in the short winter afternoons when dark clouds and a local strong wind, called the “Tramontana”, shattered our young illusions about getting behind the controls of our small plane and watching from a few hundred feet above, the daily life of our fellow countrymen. I remember that when student pilots gathered together in the hangar cursing the dark cloud layer, our flying instructor, a man with thousands of hours of flight experience, looked at us and said with a smile:“Cheer up! Above the dark clouds, there is a bright blue sky…”