GTR would like to congratulate Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) on its successful reception to mark the official launch of its Dubai branch, which was held on June 10 at the Emirates Towers Hotel.

SMBC also hosted a seminar before the reception, presented by its heads of trade finance, project finance and capital markets. The seminar and reception were both well attended, with more than 250 guests.

SMBC opened its branch within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in April. Recognising the importance of Dubai as a growing regional trade and financial centre, SMBC was the first Japanese commercial bank to open a branch there, from where it can offer its clients a full range of services.

In terms of trade finance, SMBC’s Dubai branch covers a very wide region including the Persian Gulf, the broader Middle East and all of non-Russia CIS.

Delivering the opening speech, Toshihide Orita, general manager of the Global Trade Finance Department, said: “Dubai and the Arabian Gulf are both very exciting places to be. The Gulf lies at the heart of two historic trade routes, and sits on the greatest pool of energy in the world. It is in the centre of the Islamic world which stretches from Morocco to Indonesia and from Tanzania to Kazakhstan. It has strong historic trading ties to India, and to East Africa.  These trade routes may have passed into history, but the cross border activity between these same regions is today bigger than ever before.”

On June 1, SMBC revised its internal trade finance structure by establishing a Global Trade Finance Department (GTFD), with all trade finance staff in 13 locations globally coming under a single unified department. SMBC believes that this approach will strengthen further its ability to provide bespoke solutions and high levels of service to its wide range of clients.