More than 100 delegates from seven countries gathered to share experiences at this year’s Central and East European Treasury Forum held in Brno, Czech Republic, from 3 October to 5 October.
The national treasury associations of Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania met at the beginning of October to exchange ideas and learn about market trends and technological innovations. Ivan Haco, President of the Czech Treasury Association and Tamás Ónody, Chairman of the Hungarian Treasury Club welcomed 115 delegates together with guests from other European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT) countries. They also thanked the sponsors and organisers of the eighth Central and East European (CEE) treasury conference.
Helmut Schnabel, Chairman of the International Group of Treasury Associations, (IGTA) and head of the Association of Chief Financial Officers Germany (GEFIU), gave a balanced assessment of the crises financiers will be facing in the coming years. He underlined the fact that free international trade would always be the driver of growth in the globalised world. However, he said, the current push for a ‘trade war’ on the part of the US Administration, highlighted by the recent imposition of tariffs on European goods imported into the US, would have to end if a recession in America is to be avoided in 2020, which is also when the next presidential election will be held. Mr Schnabel added that if there were to be a recession, he expected it to be mild and short lived.
Meanwhile, the Eurozone could also be facing a crisis. He described the current, negative interest rates as “absurd”. He quoted Paul Achleitner, Chairman of Deutsche Bank, who also said the current situation would destroy financial markets in the long run. Answering questions from the floor, Mr Schnabel confessed his greatest worry is the political crisis in Hong Kong.