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Australia and Singapore Pursuing Blockchain Adoption for Bilateral Trade

Blockchain adoption is on the agenda in formulating bilateral trade agreements between Australia and Singapore as both countries test a paperless trade system for verifying exchange trade documentation. The novel tech is increasingly being deployed in removing bottlenecks from international trade especially amid the global disruptions occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cross-border Trade Between Australia and Singapore to Utilize Blockchain Technology

According to an official press release on Wednesday (November 25, 2020), the Australian Border Force (ABF) in collaboration with Singapore Customs and Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to trial blockchain technology in order to make cross-border trade efficient and paperless.

The trial which commenced on Nov. 23, follows the Simplified Trade Agenda, recently unveiled by the government. The blockchain test also comes under the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA).

As part of the pilot, the program will deploy blockchain-based protocols in verifying trade documents from both the ABF’s Intergovernmental Ledger (IGL) and IMDA’s TradeTrust. The system will also receive feedback from regulators and business participants on the modalities involved in verifying documents like certificates of origin with a view to improving the efficiency and cost-savings.

Other government agencies involved in the trial process include Australian Industry Group, Australia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australia’s banking giant Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), as well as Singapore-based financial institutions.

Commenting on the latest development, Michael Outram, the ABF Commissioner, said:

“The ABF welcomes the opportunity to collaborate further with Singapore to improve cross-border trade between our countries. In addition to our efforts internationally, this initiative will incorporate paperless trading and secure, digital exchange of trade information as part of the future architecture and design of an Australian Trade Single Window.”

Blockchain Adoption in International Trade

More countries continue to employ blockchain technology in international trade for transparency and security. As reported back in July, Japan banking behemoth Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Corporation (SMBC) joined the Contour beta network to go paperless and boost trade efficiency.

Also, global agribusiness firm Cargill and top agricultural commodity provider Agrocorp both used dltledgers’ blockchain solution to expedite a $12 million wheat trade deal from North America to Indonesia.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain also employed distributed ledger technology (DLT) last November to facilitate international trade between both countries.

Blockchain deployment in international trade presents a further extension of the novel tech’s utilization in the global supply chain management (SCM) arena. Back in May, India’s largest port operator utilized TradeLens, a blockchain-powered digital container logistics platform, to enhance SCM.


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