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First cross-border paperless trade between China and Singapore powered by IMDA’s TradeTrust and Beijing’s AEOTradeChain has been successfully piloted

SINGAPORE – 23 OCT 2023

The Office of the Leading Group for the Work of the China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Integrated National Demonstration Zone for Opening up the Services Sector (referred to as the "Beijing Two-Zone Office") and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have completed the first live digital trade between China and Singapore on the 19th of October 2023.

This trade was facilitated in partnership between the Beijing Two-Zone Office, through "International Information Industry and Digital Trade Harbor" initiative under the guidance of relevant Chinese ministries such as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the IMDA. This marks a significant step forward for China in aligning with international high-level economic and trade agreements, such as the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), and actively exploring practical cooperation with Singapore in driving trade digitization.

The shipment from Xiamen to Singapore, involved a China-based food exporter, COFCO Industrial Food shipping a container of canned food to a Singapore-based food distributor Yit Hong. The pilot involved the use of an electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) enabled by IMDA’s blockchain-based TradeTrust which is designed to address the challenges of paper-based cross-border trade and leverages on international standards and frameworks to connect governments and businesses. TradeTrust allows for the digital trade documents to be authenticated, provenance traced and digitally processed to mitigate fraud risks. Using AEOTradeChain (a trusted trade cooperation network launched by the Beijing TradeTech Alliance, with ChainMaker as the underlying blockchain technology) connected with different business systems enabled by the TradeTrust framework, all participating companies in China and Singapore successfully executed the paperless trade transaction across the border.

The pilot achieved two firsts for trades between Singapore and China: This is the first end-to-end digitally processed maritime shipment involving the use of an eBL that was enabled through the TradeTrust framework. This is also the first eBL that was transacted across different systems in a decentralized manner. It is estimated that by promoting digital transformation of their shipping and 2 export processes, the document-processing efficiency of COFCO Industrial Food can be improved by over 80%, and the business operation cost can be reduced by over 30%.

Moving forward, the Beijing Two-Zone Office and the Singapore’s IMDA will promote more tradedigitization pilots involving a wider range of industry participants and more complex use cases like trade financing. These pilots will focus on promoting the decentralized digitization of transferable documents such as eBLs and cultivating the use of an open, neutral and trusted framework to transform cross-border trade and trade financing processes to benefit businesses from both countries.

LAST UPDATED: 03 JUL 2024

Issued by Infocomm Media Development Authority

About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on LinkedIn (@IMDA), Facebook (@IMDAsg) and Instagram (@IMDAsg).

About Beijing Two-Zone Office

The Beijing Two-Zone office is the Office of the Leading Group for the Work of the China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Integrated National Demonstration Zone for Opening up the Services Sector. On September 4, 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping in his opening address at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) declared support for Beijing Municipality in developing a national integrated demonstration zone for greater openness in the services sector and setting up a pilot free trade zone characterizing scientific and technological innovation, opening-up of the services sector, and digital economy. Beijing will accelerate the construction of the "two zones" and strive to build a world-class and favorable business environment governed by rule of law 3 and create better conditions conducive to domestic and foreign companies developing their businesses in Beijing. For more news and information, visit open.beijing.gov.cn.

For media enquiries, please contact:

(Mr) Aung Thi Ha
Senior Manager
(Communications and Marketing)
IMDA
DID: (65) 9338 2594
Email: aung_thi_ha@imda.gov.sg

(Ms) Jin Hui
Special Expert
Beijing Two-Zone Office
DID: (86) 10 5557 9639
Email: jinhui@sw.beijing.gov.cn

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