GENEVA — World Trade Organization director-general Pascal Lamy is calling for steps to cope with the growing gap in global trade finance that is adversely affecting exporters, especially from poorer nations.
“The market currently estimates the liquidity gap in trade finance at about $25 billion — this is a sizable sum,” Lamy told WTO member countries at the end of a special meeting Wednesday with experts from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, major private banks such as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup, and export credit agencies.
“If trade finance is not tackled, we run the risk of further exacerbating this downward spiral,” said Lamy, adding that access to such credit at affordable rates “must be maintained in such critical times to ensure that international trade can continue to play its shock-absorbing role.”
He said the view expressed by traders at the meeting is that “the situation is likely to deteriorate in the months to come.” More than 90 percent of global trade transactions involve some form of credit.
During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the sudden cutoff in credit lines for the financing of imports and exports led to a collapse in trade at the height of the meltdown.
In the current crisis, Lamy said even though the slowdown in trade has seen a decrease in demand for trade financing, there has been an even bigger fall in the supply of credit liquidity.
The World Bank has announced that its private arm, the International Finance Corp., would boost its global trade finance program to $3 billion, up from $1.5 billion at present. But the World Bank predicted that world trade in volume will contract 2.5 percent in 2009, down sharply from the expected 5.8 percent expansion this year, as global growth is forecast to expand by only 1 percent, down from this year’s estimated 2.6 percent.
The contraction would be the biggest since the global recession in the early Eighties.
Rich nations are expected to see their international commerce shrink 0.1 percent, while real output in developing nations will expand by only 4.5 percent, down from a projection of 6.4 percent, the World Bank said.
By comparison, the IMF estimated this month that world output would gain 2.2 percent next year, with rich nations posting a decline of 0.8 percent, while emerging nations would boost output by 5 percent. The IMF said growth in the volume of trade in goods and services would slow to 2.1 percent, compared with this year’s expected 4.6 percent uptick.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast