The electronic Business School International was delighted with a high-profile award presented to our First Director Vincent O’Brien by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) at a special award ceremony held as part of the EBRD Annual Forum in London in April this year.

vobaward Mr. Vincent O’Brien, First Director of the electronic Business School of Ireland, was named the Best Trade Finance Trainer at the EBRD Awards Ceremony and was presented with the award by Ms Noreen Doyle, First Vice President EBRD.

eBSI delivers accredited international trade training to participants in more than 25 countries using blended learning methodologies, enabling participants to gain an international trade certification recognised globally.

Within the past twelve months Vincent O’Brien has undertaken short missions under the EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

These short missions have involved a combination of traditional seminar training with multimedia CD ROM training and online follow-up support based on the successful model employed by eBSI in its blended learning international trade programmes.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 to foster the transition towards open-market oriented economies and to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme was set up in July 1999 to promote international trade in Europe. Through the TF programme, the EBRD provides a back-stop guarantee by way of a Standby Letter of Credit issued in favour of international banks which have been requested or authorised by issuing banks to add their confirmation to commercial Documentary Credits, one of the key financial instruments supporting international trade finance.

Over 80 issuing banks in the EBRD region participate in the programme with limits exceeding € 850 million. In addition, the TFP is a truly global programme as it includes about 500 confirming banks throughout the world.

The successful impact of the training can be demonstrated by facts and figures recorded under transactions financed by the EBRD TFP since start of training in 2001:

  • The annual number of transactions has increased from 368 transactions in 2001 to more than 900 transactions in 2003.
  • The annual number of intra-regional transactions has increased from 26 transactions in 2001 to more than 100 transactions in 2003.
  • The risk share of Western banks in the amounts financed under the programme has increased from 17% in 2001 to 33% in 2003.
  • The readiness of international confirming banks to take their own risk on banks which have attended the training has been demonstrated.
  • More than 60% of all transactions covered under the TFP in 2003 are for amounts below EUR 100,000, which demonstrates the availability of the programme also to local small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Mr. Dmitrii Predius, Head of Corporate Finance, Mobiasbanca, Moldova, said of the training, “This training greatly exceeded my expectations, it was practical, well structured and the trainer had a good understanding of the issues that affect banks in these regions. This training will help us develop trade business”.

Vincent O’Brien also carries out international trade consulting for major international banks and development agencies. He has worked for UNCTAD, World Bank, EU, private banks and he is a most popular presenter for the International Chamber of Commerce at events worldwide.

In July, Vincent travelled to Asia as an expert panelist at the 2004 Asia Annual Survey of Letter of Credit Law & Practice conferences held in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Now in September he is delivering a trade finance seminar under the TF Programme in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, immediately heading after that for a seminar on Documentary Credits for ICC Lithuania in Vilnius.