Rome, June 22, 2007. A network of centers and professionals committed to Italian businesses already among the ranks of international players as well as firms who have merely set their sights on foreign trade: the new BNL Trade Centers join the BNP Paribas world network whose 85 centers already exist in 55 countries.
In Italy, the Trade Centers are located in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Florence and Naples.
The launch of the new Trade Centers was attended by Baudouin Prot, CEO of BNP Paribas, Luigi Abete, Chairman of BNL, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of BNL, Robert Ricci, head of BNL's Corporate Division and Nicola D'Anselmo, head of BNP Paribas-BNL Corporate Investment Banking.
The service draws on sector experts to provide large, medium and small companies with a platform of products, services and solutions to support foreign trade, tailored to suit a variety of needs and conditions and provide extensive consultation services. The Trade Centers offer short-, medium- and long-term funding; financial engineering; cash accounts and exchange rates; document handling; international guarantees. E-trade, trade learning and an Internet portal for rapid, secure business management are just some of the ground-breaking services available through the Centers.
The Centers offer BNL and BNP Paribas customers competitive services that draw on the shared corporate know-how of the banks.
Italy's foreign trade reached 675 billion euro in 2006 according to a study by BNL's Research Department based on Istat figures, and between 2004 and 2006 its prevalence on the nation's GDP grew by almost 5 percentage points from 41% to 45.7%. Italian exports posted an annual growth rate of 13.3% and imports rose by 8.3%, a trend especially evident in the first four months of 2007. The metals and metal products industry heads the classification of the most dynamic Italian exports with 28%, followed by vehicles, refined petroleum products and wood, but agricultural products also feature as a major sector.
BNL, established in 1913, is a major Italian banking group and one of the best-known brands in Italy. Today, it is a member of the BNP Paribas Group, a leader in Europe in bank and financial services, and ranks among the top 15 banks worldwide in market capitalization. The Group is present in 85 countries around the globe. It employs over 150,000 people and holds key positions in three major industry sectors: Financial and Investment banking, Asset Management and Services and Retail Banking.
With 900 branches in Italy, BNL offers a broad range of traditional and up-to-the-minute products and services to meet the numerous needs of its clients (individuals and families, companies and public authorities).