Banking & finance

ICC welcomes G7 Ministerial Declaration on the digital and technology agenda to ‘build back better’

  • 28 April 2021

ICC has welcomed commitments made by the G7 and European Union as a “momentous step forward” to reaping the benefits of digitalisation in international trade transactions.

As part of six important interventions, ICC has drawn particular attention to the strategic and economic importance of the new Framework for G7 Collaboration on Electronic Transferable Records – providing a long overdue pathway to digitise trade documentation in a way that should reduce costs and frictions for small businesses seeking to export to new markets.

Despite more than two decades of trade digitisation efforts, data issued late last year showed that only 0.1% of bills of lading are issued electronically. A key impediment to the scaling of trade digitisation has been the outdated requirement in most jurisdictions that these so-called “negotiable instruments” – or documents of title – be presented in hard-copy paper format.

ICC has been at the forefront in calling for the urgent adoption of enabling legal frameworks for electronic negotiable instruments, both to safeguard trade finance operations during pandemic-induced lockdowns, and to democratise access to global markets to provide much needed relief to small businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:

“Global merchandise trade seems to be the one area of the economy immune to the rapid digitisation effected by the pandemic. Yet this is one type of immunity we cannot afford to be lasting, which is why we are so glad to see support at the Ministerial level for the legal reforms necessary to enable trade digitisation at scale. G7 governments can count on us to engage closely under the Framework and support these vital reforms.”

For more information please contact ICC Government Affairs Manager, Raoul Renard