Banking & finance

Trade digitalisation in the spotlight at 2020 ICC Banking Commission Annual Meeting

  • 18 February 2020

The 2020 ICC Banking Commission Annual Meeting taking place in Dubai on 20-23 April will consider the role of new technologies and digitalisation in the trade finance industry.

Trade finance is still a notoriously laborious and paper-heavy business, at times involving up to 20 documents and more than 100 pages for a single transaction. New technologies, such as optical character recognition, blockchain technology  and machine learning are streamlining and redefining operational processes in trade.

Today, more and more companies are exploring emerging technologies as part of their long-term business strategies. The ICC 2018 Global Survey on Trade Finance, which interviewed 251 banks across 91 countries, found that 46% of banks consider emerging technology, such as digital ledgers, as a strategic area for development over the next three to five years.

In recognition of this industry-wide trend, the 2020 ICC Banking Commission Annual Meeting will examine the role of new technologies, such as blockchain, and digitalisation in trade finance through multiple panel sessions and presentations. As part of this year’s agenda, delegates will receive first hand insights on ICC’s new Singapore-based Digital Trade Standards Initiative (DSI) and the ICC Working Group on Digitalisation in Trade Finance more globally.

While digital trade initiatives can reduce time, cost, human error and fraud – challenges remain or new challenges appear. These sessions will address the lasting hurdles associated with the digitalisation of trade finance, including legal hurdles as well as harmonising standards and interoperability between technology platforms.

“Digitalisation presents opportunities as well as challenges for the trade finance industry. It’s essential for professionals to come together to create common standards that ensure certainty and clarity for all in the future,” said David Bischof, Project leader, ICC DSI.

There also remain a vast number of participants in the trade ecosystem that lack the scale or sophistication to embrace these digital initiatives. And the trade finance gap – while stable – still represents US$1.5 trillion of unmet potential, mostly affecting SMEs. Efforts must be made to ensure these market participants are not left behind in the digital revolution.

Join us in Dubai on April 20-23, where industry leaders and experts will be taking a close look at these topics and more!

Read why you should attend the ICC Banking Commission Annual Meeting in Dubai.

To register or to learn more about the event, please visit ICC Knowledge 2 Go.