Yesterday, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce announced a partnership with state-owned bank Emirates NBD for blockchain trade finance for the Digital Silk Road initiative. The project aims to improve the transparency and efficiency of supply chains through automation.
The Dubai Chamber is running the Digital Silk Road initiative in collaboration with cargo handling services provider DP World-UAE Region, Dubai Customs and now Emirates NBD. The platform is scheduled to go live in 2020.
“Emirates NBD was the first in the region to successfully pilot a blockchain use case for trade finance and we look forward to lending our expertise and support to the Digital Silk Road initiative,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Emirates NBD.
Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, said that trade finance is “one of the most important tools used today to facilitate international trade and commerce”.
Dubai has other blockchain initiatives focused on trade finance. Recently, Dubai Chamber partnered with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and blockchain startup Perlin to offer trade finance solutions. It was the first Chamber to join the ICC Blockchain/DLT Alliance.
A few months ago, Trade Assets launched a blockchain marketplace in Dubai for trade finance assets with 25 banks, the majority of them from Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, there are other projects active in the UAE. In July, Etisalat Digital announced a nationwide blockchain trade finance platform called UAE Trade Connect. The platform was developed in partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Avanza Innovations.
Last year, Noor Bank published a report outlining the benefits of blockchain to transform trade finance in the UAE.
Among other blockchain trade finance platforms, the Marco Polo Network has garnered a lot of attention. Members include big brands such as Mastercard, Bank of America, ING, and 20 others. There are two UAE based participants, Dubai-based National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) and the Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank from Abu Dhabi.