At GTR‘s China Trade and Commodity Finance conference in Shanghai, experts discussed the Global Trade Connectivity Network (GTCN), a Hong Kong-Singapore blockchain collaboration.
The GTCN will tie in with the targeted go-live dates of the Hong Kong Trade Finance Platform and the Trade Finance Modules on the National Trade Platform in Singapore, both of which will look to digitise trade finance in their respective jurisdictions.
It is understood that there are multiple banks involved in the development on the Singapore side: local banks DBS, OCBC and UOB, along with MUFG and Standard Chartered. On the Hong Kong side, BEA, HSBC, Hang Seng and Standard Chartered (again) are working on the development. Technology companies such as R3 and IBM are also involved on the tech side.
Meanwhile, the platform is expected to be rolled out to other markets relatively quickly. Japan is in line to be next, with South China to be connected via Shenzhen, while Thailand will also be included before long.
This speaks to the connectivity of the two host jurisdictions: Hong Kong provides a gateway to North Asia, with Singapore holding the keys to Asean.
The early work will look to use blockchain technology to restrict duplicate invoice financing, a problem which has long plagued the trade finance sector in Asia.