SWIFT and Singapore’s IMDA Join Forces to Drive Global Trade Digitalisation

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Collaboration combines the reach, scale and reliability of SWIFT with IMDA’s efforts on technology and legal frameworks to accelerate trade digitalisation

 

SINGAPORE – Media
OutReach
 – 5 October 2020 – SWIFT and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority
(IMDA) today 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
creates opportunities to shorten trade processing times and open up
possibilities for innovation such as new trade financing offerings to the trade
community.

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Through this MOI, 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[1].
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. This MOI further builds on
IMDA’s effort to bring in new partners to join this global trade digitalisation
effort. 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.

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Mr. 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.”

 

Ms 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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Related Resources:

Annex A — Quotes from participating
banks

Annex B — TradeTrust Fact
Sheet

 

Annex A — Quotes from participating banks

 

Under the Memorandum of
Intent, SWIFT and IMDA will work with a group of leading financial institutions
to support the community in its trade digitalisation efforts. Views from some
of these financial institutions are captured below:

 

Sriram
Muthukrishnan, Group Head of Trade Product Management, DBS Bank:

 

“Collaboration is vital for
the health and resiliency of the global trade ecosystem. We remain committed to
collaborating in the development of interoperable digital trade solutions that
help break down barriers for businesses of varying digital maturities to
conduct trade digitally and seamlessly. DBS continues to engage in
game-changing initiatives with like-minded partners such as IMDA and SWIFT to
break new grounds. For instance, DBS worked with SWIFT and IMDA to
conceptualise a solution to facilitate the digital transmission of trade
documents, including title transfers of electronic bills of lading on the
SWIFT network leveraging TradeTrust. Such efforts will not only help generate
the momentum needed to effect a global shift from analogue to digital trade
systems, but also build on Singapore’s ambition to become a global digital
trade hub, facilitating trade flows between businesses and industries across an
extensive network of countries.”

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Vinay
Mendonca, Global Head Product, Propositions & Structuring, Trade and
Receivables Finance, HSBC:

 

“An interoperable industry
framework coupled with the SWIFT ecosystem could accelerate recent gains that
the industry has seen in digitisation through a harmonised digital flow. We are
excited to work on this initiative that could scale the digitisation of trade,
delivering better working capital management and efficiencies for our clients.”

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Merlin
Dowse, Global Product Manager, J.P. Morgan:

 

“We’re looking forward to
collaborating with TradeTrust and SWIFT. There’s still work to be done to
digitise trade documentation globally but we’re optimistic given the successful
testing of SWIFT FileAct and integration into our trade processing system at
J.P. Morgan.”

Michael
Spiegel, Global Head of Trade, Standard Chartered Bank:

 

“We are excited to see
SWIFT and IMDA coming together to provide further boost to the digitalisation
of documents in trade transactions. Standard Chartered, being a leading trade
bank, has been at the forefront on usage of emerging technologies including
distributed ledger, to move from paper based trade transaction to digitised
transaction with more resilience, efficiency and transparency. We welcome such
an effort and are delighted to join the initiative which promises to make
paperless trade accessible to many more enterprises globally.”

Download TradeTrust Fact Sheet: http://release.media-outreach.com/i/Download/93717


[1] TradeTrust is aligned with the Model Law on Electronic Transferable
Records published by the United Nations Committee on International Trade Law in
2017.

About SWIFT

SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading
provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with
a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products
and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and
regulatory compliance.

 

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000
banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate
customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold
funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community
of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in
a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as
trade and commerce all around the world.

 

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence;
we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek
ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our
products and services support our community’s access and integration, business
intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. SWIFT also
brings the financial community together — at global, regional and local levels
— to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual
interest or concern.

 

Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight
reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s
global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial
centres.

About Infocomm
Media Development Authority (IMDA)


The Infocomm
Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation
with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy
and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM)
ecosystem — by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and
enhancing Singapore’s ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the
telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while
fostering a pro-business environment and enhances Singapore’s data protection
regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and
information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter
@IMDAsg.

SWIFT and Singapore's IMDA Join Forces to Drive Global Trade Digitalisation

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