Monetary Authority of Singapore and UAE Sign Digital Trade Financing Pact 

Singapore Central Bank, Monetary Authority of Singapore

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on Thursday (Nov. 11) announced the completion of a cross-border digital trade financing pilot. 

The collaboration also includes commercial partners DBS Bank, Emirates NBD and Standard Chartered, according to the joint announcement. 

The cross-border digital trade financing pilot used IMDA’s TradeTrust framework to transfer electronic records between the jurisdictions that have adopted the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR), the announcement says, bringing the legal recognition of digital documents, including electronic bills of lading (eBLs), under one roof. 

“The pilot demonstrates how the TradeTrust Digital Utility can facilitate the digitalization of trade finance processes,” said Lew Chuen Hong, chief executive of IMDA, in the joint announcement. “We have complemented this by providing legal certainty to electronic transferable records such as eBLs through the MLETR.” 

 “Singapore is keen to accelerate the digitalization of trade finance to promote greater trust, efficiency and cost savings in the financing of global and regional trade,” said Leong Sing Chiong, deputy managing director of markets and development at MAS, in the joint announcement. “With this pilot, we hope to see broader adoption of digital trade finance in Singapore and the region.”    

The partnership is also part of the global trade movement by the G7 economies to adopt electronic transferable records for international trade. 

“Trade finance is a key enabler for the continuing development and growth of the global economy,” said Emmanuel Givanakis, CEO of the FSRA, in the joint announcement. “As an international financial center, ADGM is delighted to work with other MLETR-compliant jurisdictions to provide robust and efficient regulatory and technical infrastructure that helps financial institutions better serve their corporate customers’ needs. 

“We look forward to the further development and operationalization of digital trade finance in the ADGM and globally,” he said. 

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In August, Indian B2B digital payments company PayMate collaborated with Visa and Citi to automate payables based in the UAE, through which the company will try to expand its B2B payments platform, used by more than 105,000 Indian businesses, into central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.