Discussion paper

Why Trade Finance Matters—Especially Now

November 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected both international trade and trade finance. Trade finance is a critical element for cross-border trade, and in many cases the movement of goods across borders, particularly in emerging markets, cannot occur without it. This note, the second of Stop-Winlock’s “Trade and COVID Trilogy,” collects and analyzes trade-related findings from over 70 “Daily News Summaries” and other data sources from late March to early November, 2020. It uses these sources to examine and discuss the effects of COVID-19 on trade finance in particular, assessing the impact of COVID-19 on trade finance and highlighting the importance of trade finance to global trade, especially  during crises. It also examines the extent to which the pandemic has affected the persistent trade finance gap.