New BAFT whitepaper analyzes the state of trade digitization at the end of 2020, the progress made during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights necessary actions to ensure continued advancement
WASHINGTON – BAFT, the leading global financial services association for international transaction banking, in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA) today announced the publication of a new whitepaper, Progress on Trade Digitization 2021. The whitepaper analyzes the state of trade digitization at the end of 2020, highlights progress made during the COVID-19 pandemic and proposes additional changes to ensure digitization’s continued and sustainable advancement.
According to a 2020 ICC Annual Survey, 54% of respondents revealed they introduced new digital solutions to address difficulties posed by COVID-19. These digital initiatives took various forms, including mobile network providers reducing fees, governments raising contactless limits to reduce in-person cash transactions and increased daily and monthly limits for users.
“While these digital developments in the wake of COVID-19 were incredibly helpful, our ultimate goal is to make positive changes that are sustainable long-term,” said Stacey Facter, senior vice president, trade products, BAFT. “To do that requires a legal environment that allows for digital documents to scale, as well as a global adoption of the standards in place today and continued support for those still under development. These are critical factors in maintaining the forward momentum of digitization.”
“The arguments in favor of digitization have been accepted by the majority of the world’s biggest trading nations but implementation still remains a work in progress,” said Sean Edwards, chairman, ITFA. “Fortunately, we possess the tools and resources to make this happen and the pace of change can be very quick with the right support.”
The whitepaper highlights six countries as case studies in how governments can implement reforms that harmonize their domestic legal frameworks with UNCITRAL’S Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records.
It also discusses the need for cross-industry, cross-technology platform-based standards to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of digital trade. The paper offers examples of standards available today and encourages stakeholders to consider how they can leverage them. For those interested in going a step further, the paper suggests participating in the creation of global standards through the DSI.
To read Progress on Trade Digitization 2021, click here.
BAFT is the leading international financial services association whose membership includes large global and regional banks, service providers, and fintech companies headquartered around the world. BAFT provides advocacy, thought leadership, education, and a global forum for its members in transaction banking, including international trade finance and payments. For nearly a century, BAFT has expanded markets, shaped policy, developed business solutions, and preserved the safety and soundness of the global financial system.