Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has signed an agreement with a group of banks, ports, shipping companies and commodity exporters to launch a new trade data exchange, which it says will unlock more than US$150mn of value annually.

According to the IMDA, the Singapore Trade Data Exchange, or SGTraDex, designed as a neutral and open digital infrastructure through a public-private partnership, will provide a centralised gateway that will allow companies to share trade data securely through API integration.

“SGTraDex will connect with existing industry data solution providers and data consolidators supporting the oil trading value chain, container location and status event data, and digitised bunkering transaction data to provide business stakeholders actionable insights from the physical flow of goods and financiers with improved visibility to mitigate potential fraudulent transactions,” an SGTraDex spokesperson tells GTR.

The initiative is part of the Singapore government’s Alliance for Action on Supply Chain Digitalisation, which brings together stakeholders in the supply chain ecosystem, including PSA International, Trafigura, DBS, OCBC, UOB and Standard Chartered, as well as Jurong Port, Ocean Network Express, Oiltanking and Pacific International Lines.

Speaking at the launch of SGTraDex on July 13, Heng Swee Keat, deputy prime minister and coordinating minister for economic policies, said that the goal is now to onboard stakeholders along the supply chain, especially smaller firms, so that they can be part of this “digital backbone”.

“Once on board, firms can exchange information with other parties through SGTraDex. The data will be encrypted and transmitted without being stored. With SGTraDex, previously unavailable or difficult to obtain data – such as real-time cargo location – can be easily attained. This will enable logistic players and shippers to optimise cargo handling and operations,” he added.

SGTraDex also plans to enable new value-added services for supply chain participants and speed up the processing of customs clearance, trade financing, insurance and other related activities.

“The Alliance for Action intends to integrate SGTraDex with various platforms that are developed separately, including the Trade Finance Registry (TFR) that is being developed by the Association of Banks in Singapore to detect multiple financing,” the SGTraDex spokesperson says. “With the connection, TFR is potentially able to validate the genuineness of underlying trade transactions through access to source documents.”

The solution is expected to go live in early 2022, and the IMDA says that as it continues to extend its use cases for SGTraDex, it expects to see participation from international companies and trading partners beyond Singapore’s borders.