"Ten Years of Factoring, and a New Chapter": Interview with Shanghai Commercial Factoring Association
Interviewee: Mr. Peter Maerevoet, Global CFO and Regional CEO for Asia at Tradewind International Factoring Limited
Background Info: Tradewind International Factoring Limited is a member of Shanghai Commercial Factoring Association. Founded in 2000, with more than 20 offices in 14 countries including our headquarters in Germany, clients in over 30 countries, Tradewind Finance is at the forefront of international trade finance. Tradewind Finance services a variety of industries including food & beverage, seafood, electronics, automotive, chemical and consumer goods, among others.
Secretariat of Shanghai Commercial Factoring Association (Q):Hi Mr. Maerevoet, this year marks the tenth anniversary of commercial factoring pilot in mainland China. As a member of the first batch of foreign funded enterprises moved into Shanghai, who witnessed the development of this industry, would you please share your thoughts with us?
A: Time flies and ten years have passed. All sorts of feelings well up in my mind. Tradewind Finance entered the Chinese market in 2013, the second year after the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China launched the first batch of commercial factoring pilot projects. Since launching the business in China, Tradewind Finance has continued to focus on the field of factoring, empowering exporters with flexible and customized financing solutions to accelerate cash flow, reduce trade risks and lift worries for enterprises.
In the past ten years, Tradewind Finance has grown together with the domestic commercial factoring industry, witnessed the great changes in the development of the sector, and continued to win more clients in a diversity of businesses with high-quality services.
This decade is a milestone, and it has also laid a solid foundation for the future. The achievements of Tradewind Finance in the past ten years are inseparable from the sound and rapid development of China's economy. Nowadays, the global environment is in crisis and there are more unpredictable risks, so exporters are faced with a complex and volatile trade situation. In this regard, Tradewind Finance actively embraces changes, makes flexible adjustments to financing solutions, continuously improves product competitiveness, and better reduces trade risks for clients.
Q: How would you describe the development of Tradewind Finance in the past ten years?
A: This decade has been a decade for Tradewind Finance to enrich factoring products and improve service standards, to help more Chinese enterprises expand their business, and to overcome difficulties and focus on achieving long-term strategies.
In 2013, Tradewind Finance entered the China market. Initially, its business in China was mainly focused on export factoring, and then it continued to expand its product line to provide tailor-made foreign trade financing solutions and supply chain financing services for local enterprises of all sizes. Considering that the global credit system is still developing and there are problems of information asymmetry, many Chinese importers must pay in full before their suppliers can ship their goods. The supply chain financing services offered by Tradewind Finance can release funds for upstream and downstream partners of enterprises, thus optimizing their cash flow and promoting their business development and expansion.
In the past decade, Tradewind Finance has also witnessed the opening and development of China. On November 7, 2018, the first China International Import Expo, the world's first import-themed national exhibition, was inaugurated in Shanghai. Tradewind Finance held a high-end dinner in Shanghai and invited a number of Chinese clients, partners and friends to the dinner to announce the launch of a new supply chain financing product in China. With the support of Tradewind Finance, Chinese buyers can focus on business development without worrying about issues such as settlement and capital turnover.
At the dinner on November 7, 2018, Tradewind Finance's Executive Director and founder Ansgar Hütten delivered a welcome speech.
On November 8, 2019, Tradewind Finance was invited to participate in the signing ceremony of the key projects in the Lujiazui area during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), and signed a cooperation agreement with Lujiazui Administration of Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Tradewind Finance's cooperation with the Lujiazui administration helped provide trade finance for importers and exporters in the area, which is a hub for shipping. It brought more localized capital support solutions for Chinese import and export enterprises, increased their cash flow, reduced trade risks, and promoted the development of Chinese import and export enterprises' business globally.
On November 8, 2019, Mr. Réne Pastor (fourth from right), President of Global Business of Tradewind Finance, signed on stage with 11 other leading companies in the industry
Q: Please allow me, on behalf of the trade association, to express my heartfelt thanks to you and Tradewind Finance for the contribution to China's economy and the development of local companies! Tradewind Finance has been in China for ten years and has developed well. What do you think is the core competitiveness of Tradewind Finance?
A: The biggest advantage of Tradewind Finance lies in the ability to provide tailor-made financing solutions for clients. With a team of highly qualified trade finance experts on four continents and 22 years of operational experience, Tradewind Finance has the ability to handle more complex cases and has a high reputation in the industry.
Besides, as an international commercial factoring company with origins in Germany, Tradewind Finance not only inherits the German style of rigor and efficiency, but also achieves localization to the greatest extent. In addition to adjusting products and services to meet the needs of local enterprises, it has also been successfully recognized by China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE). Tradewind Finance also became the first factoring company to sign a factoring policy with SINOSURE, providing local enterprises with more diversified credit insurance options.
Q: In the past ten years, are there any people and events that have left a deep impression on you?
A: As an international trade finance company, Tradewind Finance is committed to solving clients’ cash flow problems, promoting their business development and scale expansion with customized financing solutions, and the amount of financing for clients can grow with the growth of their business.
Over the past decade, I have been impressed by the change in the business scale of two Chinese mainland clients. We are honored to cooperate with them and help them achieve rapid business expansion.
One client, whose main business is steel trading, only had a USD 5.9 million export factoring facility last year. After working with Tradewind Finance, the company has now increased its financing to US$20 million, as it has sufficient working capital to continue to invest in production and take on more orders without having to wait for payment under long terms.
Another client, whose main business is exporting frozen seafood, had a USD 10 million export factoring facility several years ago. But after years of cooperation with Tradewind Finance, it was able to develop more buyers, pay suppliers in time to enhance competitiveness, and now the figure is close to USD 23 million.
Q: Being able to witness the growth of clients might be the most delightful thing for us! China has a long history, and Chinese like to navigate the future by looking back to the past. Speak of the future, what are your expectations and prospects for Shanghai's Commercial Factoring industry and for Tradewind Finance?
A: After ten years of hard work, Shanghai's commercial factoring industry has experienced breakthroughs from scratch, leaps from small to large, and is in a butterfly transformation from big to strong. The development in the next ten years is also crucial. With the opening of a new chapter in the next decade, I believe that Shanghai's commercial factoring industry will be able to create greater glories in the future!
Despite the complex and volatile international situation, Tradewind Finance's international commercial factoring team not only overcame the continuous business interruptions caused by the epidemic, but also performed well. Tradewind Finance anticipates facilitating $200 million in financing requests this year to clients in mainland China. Looking ahead, Tradewind Finance will continue to build better communication with clients and expand the range of industries it serves, with a greater focus on improving the quality of customer service. As the strategic core shifts to Asia, Tradewind Finance will continue to provide high-quality and customized solutions to local trading companies, assisting them in obtaining financing more conveniently and quickly, in order to revitalize their cash flow and strengthen their business development initiatives.
Q: Thank you for accepting the interview. Wish Tradewind Finance a better development in next ten years!