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SWIFT and Singapore’s IMDA join forces to drive global trade digitalisation

By Edil Corneille

October 06, 2020

  • Belgium
  • Singapore
  • SWIFT
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SWIFT, secure financial messaging services, Belgium, trade, digitalisationBelgium’s SWIFT and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to accelerate trade digitalisation globally. The MOI looks at offering SWIFT’s community of more than 11,000 financial institutions and corporates in over 200 countries and territories more efficient and cost-effective cross-border paperless trade, without the need for multiple bilateral linkages and siloed systems.

Moving manual processes to digitally-enabled ones also create opportunities to shorten trade processing times and open up possibilities for innovation such as new trade financing offerings to the trade community.

Both parties will work to combine TradeTrust, an interoperability framework that connects various platforms for the exchange of digital trade documentation, with the SWIFT community. TradeTrust provides proof of authenticity of documents and offers title transfer through open-source software. This functions alongside legal harmonisation to recognise these digital documents. When paired with SWIFT’s ability to securely transport industry standardised electronic trade messaging, scanned hardcopy documentation and digitally signed assets, this will pave the way for the seamless exchange of electronic trade documents around the world.

As an important global trade and finance hub, Singapore has been at the forefront of trade digitalisation, partnering with various international organisations, governments and industry players to boost cross-border trade. Earlier this year, IMDA signed a cooperation agreement with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and 17 multinational firms to move from existing paper-based processes to digitally-enabled ones.

Alain Raes, Chief Business Development Officer, SWIFT, said: “The trade ecosystem faces digital disruption and requires open standards, legal harmonisation and coming together as a community to address fragmentation, friction and risks. Our collaboration with Singapore’s global TradeTrust initiative allows us to play a central role in this effort, and we look forward to working together towards a shared vision of a frictionless, dynamic, global trade ecosystem.”

Jane Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, IMDA, said: “International trade is the lifeblood of Singapore’s economy. Singapore is working with various partners internationally to develop an interoperability framework, TradeTrust, for the seamless and efficient exchange of digitalised trade documentation across different communities. We are pleased to partner with SWIFT to further develop a trusted, interoperable and global digital trade ecosystem.”

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