Singapore Partnering with International Chamber of Commerce for Digitization of International Trade

Feb 2020

Alongside the annual World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2020, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) joined the Singapore government and a growing consortium of key industry partners to accelerate the digitalization of global trade and commerce. The ICC is  the largest, most representative business organization in the world, with 45 million institutional members in 130 countries. The global industry leaders participating in the agreement include APRIL, DBS Bank, Marubeni Corporation, Mastercard, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd., MUFG Bank, Noble, NTT DATA, PSA International, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Tokio Marine, and Trafigura.

The aim of this public-private partnership is to shift international trade from a paper-based system to digitally-enabled trade, resulting in time and operational cost savings along with reduction in the incidence of fraud and human error.

Singapore is partnering various international organizations, governments and industry players on the development of TradeTrust – a multilateral, open legal and technical framework, that enables inter-operability across different trade platforms and formats for the exchange of digital trade documents on a public blockchain. The initiative is led by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) together with the Maritime Port Authority (MPA), and supported by Enterprise Singapore, which helps companies build capabilities, innovate and internationalize.

One of the first platforms built on the TradeTrust framework is ICC TradeFlow. ICC TradeFlow was co-developed by ICC together with trade tech firm, Perlin, in collaboration with IMDA, commodities trader Trafigura, and DBS Bank. A USD 20 million pilot trade was executed on ICC TradeFlow in November 2019, with an iron ore shipment from South Africa to China. Partners in this pilot trade are making further major trade volume commitments to be executed on this platform. By 2022, a full functional TradeTrust digital utility is expected to be developed and distributed as an open source.

(Sources: Infocomm Media Development Authority; Channel NewsAsia)

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