A trade processing partnership has been signed which will make it easier for German SMEs to establish trade links in Asia Pacific.

BNY Mellon has signed the agreement with Helaba (Landesbank Hessen-Thürigen) and the 25 largest German (G25) sparkassen (savings banks) to boost their trade in the Asia Pacific region.

Ian Stewart, CEO of treasury services at BNY Mellon, says that by opening up access to its correspondent banks in Asia, the bank will “connect the famed mittelstand [SMEs] with the fastest growing region in the world” and help to drive export growth into these markets.

BNY Mellon will act as the entry point for German SMEs seeking to trade in the Asia Pacific region, via its correspondent banking network. Helaba and the G25 will direct letters of credit from German importers into BNY Mellon’s branch network.

“With export flows on the rise, the sparkassen need to provide adequate trade finance support to their corporate clients,” says Klaus-Jörg Mulfinger designated management board member of Helaba.

He explains that the partnership strengthens the bank’s position as a trade finance partner as it’ll open up its trade finance, buyer credit and forfaiting products to the savings banks.

The G25 sparkassen have about one third of the market share of all German sparkassen, and have a total volume in the corporate business lending of about €110bn. The group is well-known for supporting SMEs’ international business projects by providing export and import financial support.

The G25 are inviting other sparkassen to become partners in the agreement.