DBS and Trafigura collaborate with IMDA to launch open-sourced blockchain trade platform

To leverage Singapore’s global trade connectivity, DBS Bank and Trafigura, in collaboration with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Enterprise Singapore and tradetech Perlin, have come together to develop an open-sourced blockchain trade platform (ICC TradeFlow platform) to connect trade partners across borders and streamline manual paper-based trade processes to improve trade flows. The platform’s pilot trade of USD20 million worth of iron ore will be shipped from Africa to China in November 2019.

Built on IMDA’s TradeTrust network infrastructure and powered by Perlin’s blockchain technology, the platform is designed to be interoperable with existing and future digital trade platforms. This approach will enable companies based in digital harbors like Singapore to continue seamlessly trading with countries governed by traditional paper-based systems. All parties on the blockchain platform are also able to send, receive and act upon trade instructions in real-time, cutting the end-to-end trade document transit time by more than half from 45 to 20 days.

Tan Su Shan, Head of Institutional Banking, DBS Bank, said that this digital solution promises greater efficiency, transparency and productivity, while reducing paperwork. “Solutions like these are timely as they meet our customers’ demands for increased transaction speed and optimized financing to promote better cash flow and capital management.”

Leveraging the success of this initial pilot, the partners will continue iterating and improving the ICC TradeFlow platform, with a vision for global adoption. As next steps, further enhancements will be made to the platform. These include offering trade finance on-the-go, as well as providing background information and credit ratings on trade participants, vessels and couriers to build trust among counterparties – with the aim of achieving a more seamless trade process.

John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General of the ICC, considered the TradeFlow platform uniquely placed to help gather the critical mass needed for a truly international and industry-wide shift from analog trade systems to digital ones. Dorjee Sun, Chief Executive Officer of Perlin, said, “We are certain that blockchain will help drive the digitalization of trade and transfer of title electronically. This will revolutionize trade, commodities and related finance and Singapore is at the forefront.“

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