New blockchain network to ease pan-Asian trade

Singapore-based Global eTrade Services (Gets) has launched an open trade blockchain (OTB) network to boost cross-border trade between China and the rest of Asia.

Aligned with China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI) and the Southern Transport Corridor, the permissioned blockchain network is run by trusted nodes hosted by accredited trade compliance companies.

By enhancing the security of trading documents, such as certificates of origin and commercial invoices, the blockchain network is expected to promote transparency and trust between shippers, freight-forwarders and customers.

Gets said the OTB will also offer application programming interfaces (APIs) that trading partners can use to hook up their legacy systems.

So far, it has roped in partners such as China-ASEAN Information Harbour, Suzhou Cross-E-commerce and the Commodities Intelligence Centre – all of which will be setting up blockchain nodes progressively.

Other partners in Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan are also coming onboard, creating an extensive blockchain network across Asia.

With OTB linking China to the rest of the region, ASEAN businesses looking to participate in China’s BRI and connect to its Digital Silk Road will be able to do so more easily.

In 2017, bilateral trade between China and ASEAN hit $514.8bn, up 13.8% from 2016 – the fastest pace of growth in trade between China and a major trading partner.

Gets is already benefiting from this growth, having facilitated over 10 million transactions in its first year of operation in 2017. In the first six months of this year, it recorded a gross merchandise value of over $400bn.

“We continue to capitalise on our deep domain knowledge and expertise in creating a global electronic single window environment to make global cross-border trade more accessible, predictable and easier,” said Gets CEO Chong Kok Keong.

“We are now linked up to 24 customs nodes across the world, with more than 175,000 connected parties, continuing to improve time savings by 60% and increase productivity by 1.5 times for our customers,” he added.

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