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Thailand launches national trade blockchain, integrates Japan’s TradeWaltz, Singapore’s NTP

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Last week, Thailand’s JSCCIB announced the first pilots for its blockchain-based National Digital Trade Platform (NDTP). It has also integrated with Japanese blockchain TradeWaltz and Singapore’s single window Networked Trade Platform (NTP).

The aim of NDTP is to digitize the trade process to speed up imports and exports and improve access to trade finance for SMEs. It’s a private sector project run by three trade associations, the Thai Bankers Association, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Board of Trade. The government has involvement through the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission.

The first phase of NDTP involves digitizing various trade documents, such as purchase orders, invoices and packing lists using UN/CEFACT standards and transport documents, such as bills of lading and seaway bills.

The authenticity of documents used on NDTP is verified because NDTP has been integrated with Thailand’s Trade Document Registry (TDR), which went live early this year, allowing banks to check for double financing of trade documents.

Thailand’s main payment system operation, the National ITMX Company, developed and operates phase 1 of the NDTP platform. Baker McKenzie Thailand is responsible for the legal aspects. The first banks to participate on the network are Bangkok Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Kasikorn Bank, Krungthai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, and TMB Thanachart.

Two pilot (real) transactions were made between Thailand and Singapore and four proof of concept transactions were tested with Japan.

Payong Srivanich, Chair of the Thai Bankers’ Association, spoke about the NDTP, saying it “will make export and import easier, faster and more convenient for not only exporters and importers but also all other stakeholders. It will reduce time spent on preparing and processing documents.”

He continued, “Banks will be able to verify supporting documents for financing more efficiently in addition to the existing double finance checking on TDR. This will increase access to financing for exporters and importers and in turn increase the competitiveness of Thai exports particularly for SMEs.”

For Japan’s TradeWaltz, a blockchain platform with more than 130 Japanese participants, in addition to connecting to Singapore and Thailand it has also implemented a basic connection with TradeWindow that supports trade with New Zealand and Australia. It also measures the emissions involved in international shipments.

TradeWaltz was developed by NTT and was founded by several large Japanese entities, including three trade conglomerates Mitsubishi Corp, Toyota Tsusho and Kanematsu, as well as MUFG, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire and Sompo. It is in production and has raised a relatively modest 3.9 billion yen ($27.5m) in financing.

The big shippers drive two other major trade blockchain platforms, TradeLens and GSBN