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Yuki Fujiyama, a trade finance specialist with the Office of Financial Services Industries in the International Trade Administration, is the author of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.
On November 13, 2012 in Philadelphia, we unveiled the third edition of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters at the 23rd Annual Finance, Credit, and International Business Association (FCIB) Global Conference. Acting U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services Industries Carlos F. Montoulieu released the new edition emphasizing that, “This concise and easy-to-understand guide is designed to help U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) learn quickly how to get paid from export sales in the most effective manner.”
What is the Trade Finance Guide?
The Trade Finance Guide covers 14 subject areas in easy-to-understand two page chapters that are written in plain language. The Guide is:
- A “60-minute” self-learning tool for new-to-export SMEs that wish to learn how to get paid from export sales.
- A user-friendly tool for international credit, banking, trade finance professionals and export counselors for client assistance.
- A flexible educational tool for professionals teaching international business.
The Guide uses a no-nonsense approach to make it easy to understand the importance of choosing the appropriate payment method and trade finance technique when dealing with international transactions. With a quick rundown of the pros and cons provided in each chapter, new-to-export SMEs will find the Guide’s recommendations for when one payment method and trade finance technique is best suited over another particularly helpful. With some 300,000 copies distributed to the public since the release of its first edition in 2007, the Trade Finance Guide has become one of the most popular export assistance resources published by the Commerce Department.
What’s New and Unique?
The third edition of the Trade Finance Guidehas been updated with new key information, refined to provide better clarity and adds two new chapters:
- Consignment which explains how selling on consignment can provide the exporter some greater advantages which may not be obvious at first glance
- Government-Backed Agricultural Export Financing which describes how U.S. exporters of agricultural products can turn sales opportunities, especially in risky emerging markets, into real transactions and get paid.
In addition to new content and updates, the third edition also offers unique features that make the Trade Finance Guide one of the most user-friendly publications produced by the Commerce Department. The new Guide is:
- Easily accessible online to anyone with internet access and designed for both easy download and on-screen viewing.
- Printer friendly because it was designed with printing in mind.
- Eco-responsible because it was designed for digital distribution and to only use the smallest amount of paper and ink or toner possible when printed.
In addition, the new Trade Finance Guide is the first official ITA publication to have adopted a QR Code to make it easy for those with smart-phones to access the Guide’s homepage in cyberspace.
Partnership and Cooperation
The Trade Finance Guide was created in partnership with FCIB and in cooperation with the U.S. Export–Import Bank, the U.S. Small Business Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the International Factoring Association, the Association of Trade & Forfaiting in the Americas, and BAFT-IFSA (Bankers Association for Finance & Trade–International Financial Services Association). FCIB, a two-time recipient of the President’s “E” Award, is a globally recognized business educator of credit and risk management professionals in exporting companies ranging in size from multinational to SMEs.
How to Obtain the Trade Finance Guide
The Guide is available through the U.S. government’s export portal, Export.gov/TradeFinanceGuide, both as a complete guide and as individual chapters for those only wishing to learn a specific trade finance technique. You may also scan the QR Code below to go straight to the Guide’s homepage.
Coming Soon: Trade Finance Guide in Spanish
The Commerce Department is currently working with the California Centers for International Trade Development to create a Spanish version of the Trade Finance Guide. The Spanish version will help SMEs expand their global presence, especially in Mexico and Latin America, where Spanish is the primary language. Please stay tuned as the Trade Finance Guide’s inaugural Spanish version is scheduled for release in a few months!