The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has appointed Oswald Kuyler as managing director of its Digital Standards Initiative (DSI), which aims to digitalise trade and trade finance.

Based in Singapore, Kuyler joins DSI from mining giant BHP, where he most recently held the position of head of data strategy. During his seven-year stint at the company, he led a number of initiatives that covered blockchain technologies, electronic documentation in trade finance, data analytics and process automation.

Prior to this, Kuyler worked as a solutions architect at EOH MS Services, a specialist IT services and solutions provider.

The ICC plans to make more hires to the DSI team in the coming months, reveals a statement by the industry body.

Along with the appointment of Kuyler, the ICC also reveals the “operational launch” of the DSI. The initiative intends to develop open trade standards to facilitate interoperability among the variety of blockchain-based networks and technology platforms that have entered the trade space over the past few years.

John Denton, ICC secretary general, says: “With many small businesses struggling to weather the effects of the pandemic, we see an absolute imperative to accelerate our work with partners under the DSI to ensure that digital technologies can truly democratise access to global markets.”

In March, GTR reported that the ICC had formalised DSI as an independent entity with seed funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Singapore. The entity is run out of the recently established ICC Centre for Future Trade.