The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is planning to offer trade finance e-education courses targeting banking professionals and members of the public interested in furthering their knowledge. The e-learning platform, called the ICC Academy, will open its virtual doors by this summer.

By paying an annual fee of US$150, members of the Academy will have access to over 70 courses dealing with topics such as trade finance, letters of credit, election guarantees, receivables finance, payables finance. The ICC Academy will offer a Global Trade Certificate (GTC) as well as a Certified Trade and Finance Professional certificate (CTFP).

“It will help to fill a sort of ever-changing skill gap, as there is always a need for banking employees to refresh their knowledge of what the financial regulatory environment is like,” ICC secretary general John Danilovich tells GTR.

The trade finance e-education programme was announced at an official ceremony held on March 18 in Singapore, where the Academy is based. “Singapore was chosen as it is increasingly important as a financial hub for that region of the world. (…) We thought that it would be a very important and vital place for the ICC to have a presence. We also had the support of the government of Singapore”, explains Danilovich.

The ICC received a grant worth SG$4mn (almost US$3mn) from the government agency International Enterprise Singapore. The grant provided the seed capital for the academy, although Danilovich expects the organisation to become self-sufficient within a few years.

Danilovich strongly promoted the ICC Academy project, which had been long discussed but with little concrete action, once he started heading the ICC in July 2014: “The creation of the ICC Academy represents a really historic and ground breaking step forward, and we are incredibly excited about it,” he says. To Danilovich, the Academy “is extremely important in and of itself as an educational tool for the international finance industry, and it is extremely important for the growth and evolution of the ICC.”

The first classes are due to start on July 1.