Trade finance simply means financing international trade. It is a business activity that includes things such as export credit and insurance, issuing letters of credit, lending among other activities.
BREAKING DOWN 'Trade Finance'
Although international trade has been in existence for centuries, trade finance developed as a means of facilitating it further. The widespread use of trade finance is one of the factors that have contributed to the enormous growth of international trade in recent decades.
In its simplest form, trade form works by reconciling the divergent needs of an exporter and importer. While an exporter would prefer to be paid upfront by the importer for an export shipment, the risk to the importer is that the exporter may simply pocket the payment and refuse shipment.