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ICC has today announced the formation of a new Legal Reform Advisory Board (LRAB) to support the legal harmonisation efforts of the ICC Digital Standards Initiative.

As part of our drive to promote inclusion and create opportunity for all parties involved in the international supply chain, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) launched the Digital Standards Initiative (DSI) in 2020 in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Singapore, with the vision to establish a globally harmonized, digitalised trade environment.

The new Legal Reform Advisory Board will work under the auspices of the DSI Governance Board and will comprise 30 leaders from across all geographies who share the belief that a globally harmonised, enabling legal environment is foundational to making digitalised trade a reality. The Board will be seeking to scale up legal reforms worldwide and includes the Asian Development Bank, Bankers Association for Finance and Trade, The Commonwealth, ICC France, ICC Germany, ICC Mexico, the International Trade and Forfaiting Association and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. The Board will work alongside the DSI Industry Advisory Board, which advocates for adoption of harmonised digital standards across international supply chains.

The new Advisory Board – appointed on a rolling basis starting today by ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO – is co-chaired by Chris Southworth, Secretary General of ICC United Kingdom and Valentina Mintah, customs and logistics expert and member of the ICC Executive Board.

Valentina Mintah said:

“The benefits of trade digitalisation are legion, but we won’t realise them without enabling laws and regulations. I look forward to convening intergovernmental, policy and industry leaders to drive legislative reform efforts and ensure that no one is left behind.”

Chris Southworth said:

“Digitising the trade ecosystem will make trade faster, cheaper, more secure and better for the environment. We have made enormous progress on legal harmonisation over the last two years. The LRAB will play a vital role in helping us scale legal reforms and provide more support to low-income countries where more capacity building is needed.”

Steven Beck, Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance at ADB and member of the DSI Governance Board, said:

“Digitalisation is key to narrowing the US$1.7 trillion trade finance gap but we can’t get there without an enabling legal environment. Reform is needed and the LRAB will help us scale existing efforts.”

Raoul Renard, Deputy Director of Legal Reform at DSI said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic massively accelerated digital transformation across a range of sectors, but outdated legal frameworks continue to inhibit the digitalisation of trade finance. I look forward to working with our co-chairs and LRAB members – such as the ADB – to enable necessary legal reform and bring trade finance into the 21st Century.”

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