Saudi Arabia Pitches Blockchain-Based Business Passport to Boost Trade Finance

Saudi Arabian business leaders think they have a solution to trade finance woes caused by COVID-19: a blockchain-based business passport to cut through red tape.

  • This “Global Value Chain” (GVC) passport would allow firms already following their host country’s financial rulebook to tout their credentials elsewhere, easing trade and increasing financial access globally, according to the Saudis’ Wednesday proposal before a group of G20 business leaders, developed in partnership with the OECD.
  • Blockchain technology would provide the GVC Passport a distributed, trusted, real-time source for global regulators to verify business’ accreditation claims, according to the Saudis’ accompanying white paper.
  • The result: a more efficient financial system with firms – especially small and midsize ones that normally lack a global presence –  cut free from repetitive, redundant, cross-border regulatory burdens, the Saudis said.
  • “SMEs represent 90% of businesses and 50% of employment worldwide, and therefore hugely impacted by the events
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Payments, global trade head for digital ‘tipping point’ as coronavirus pandemic forces shift in business environment

Digitisation in payments and global trade has reached a “tipping point” as a result of the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, creating a new level of comfort and trust in digitally driven transactions, according to a panel of fintech experts.

Global trade has entered a new era where the digital economy is going to be the centre of the world’s economic structure, according to Jack Zhang, chief executive and co-founder of Tencent Holdings-backed payments operator Airwallex.

Airwallex saw usage by its customers jump by 53 per cent in the second quarter from the first, with some of its e-commerce customers experiencing 200 per cent growth in the April-May time frame, Zhang said. Seventy-five per cent of its customers who responded to a recent survey plan to continue to use the digital channel post-pandemic, he said.

“The speed of e-commerce is being accelerated – probably what happened in a

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BNP Halts New Commodity Trade Finance Deals as It Reviews Unit

(Bloomberg) — BNP Paribas SA has suspended new commodity trade finance deals while it reviews its involvement in the business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, according to people familiar with the matter.

The French bank, one of the largest lenders to global commodity traders, has recently told clients that no new deals will be concluded unless there’s a contractual obligation, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. BNP is currently reviewing options for the future of its EMEA commodity trade finance business, the people said.

The move comes after the bank took a hit from commodity trade houses facing financial stress from Dubai to the U.S., the people said. BNP’s commodity trade finance team suffered heavy losses from the bank’s exposure to companies including crop trader Phoenix Group, energy firm GP Global Group as well as coffee dealer Coex Coffee International Inc.,

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