The ICC Academy at the International Chamber of Commerce has published an excellent illustrated guide on export finance, which is needed to cover the gap between when an exporter is able to turn inventory and trade receivables to cash and when it has to pay on its trade payables. For the purpose of this guide, export finance refers to the financing of working capital tied to exports, that exporters avail from banks, financial institutions and alternative finance providers (collectively “finance providers”). It explains that export finance differs from “trade finance”, which is a broad term given to all the financing techniques tied to both imports and exports. However, the methods of financing are different, and they serve different purposes. Export finance may be provided within the framework of either –
- documentary trade finance, including advance payment bond or guarantee; or
- supply chain finance.
The options for financing are linked to the method of payment that the exporter and the buyer have agreed to transact on.