Singapore, Mastercard, Others Form Digital Trade Alliance

More and more firms are hopping on the digital trade train.

The Coin Telegraph reports that the government of Singapore, the International Chamber of Commerce, and 16 other institutions have joined forces to ramp up adoption of digital trade technologies in trade and commerce.

Financial services giants such as Mastercard, DBS Bank, and Tokio Marine have joined the initiative, which counts Japanese conglomerates Mitsubishi and the Marubeni Corporation as partners.

The new partnership is part of the ICC TradeFlow Alliance which uses the digital trade platform TradeTrust built by Singapore-based blockchain company Perlin. The impetus behind the initiative is to transit from paper-based systems to digitally-enabled trade, which will purportedly cut time and operational costs, as well as reduce incidences of fraud and human error.

Distributed ledger technology appears to be among the main mediums of the alliance, with DBS Bank commenting that “digital technologies, especially distributed ledger, are well geared” to remedy the issues that currently plague trade and trade finance.

ICC TradeFlow will reportedly be built on Singapore’s TradeTrust network, “a multilateral, open, legal and technical framework that purportedly enables interoperability across different trade platforms and formats for exchanging trade documents on a public blockchain.”

Singapore in this case will act through its digitization and trade authorities, namely Infocomm Media Development Authority and Enterprise Singapore. The two will market the platform and launch pilots based on deals going through the Lion City.

Currently the ICC TradeFlow pilot has slashed transaction times from 45 days to 20 days, far from its 24 hour transaction time goal but significantly less time than normally needed.

Photo: Jpatokal