Tradelink Electronic Commerce Ltd, Otto Group, and Core Systems have launched the Tradelink Otto Bolero Interface (Tobi), an online trade service specifically tailored for Otto and its trading partners.

Tobi, the brand name stands for Tradelink’s Bolero-enabled trader documentation service for the purposes of transacting within the Otto chain, is designed to streamline the entire international trade cycle by facilitating electronic business transactions between all parties. Processes that once took up to three weeks now can be completed in as little as three days. Tobi has been designed in collaboration with banking and logistics partners which include HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, Commerzbank, Jet-Speed, Panalpina, Dolphin Logistics, Kuehne & Nagel, TransGlobal Freight Management Limited, P&O Nedlloyd, Danzas, Allport, and SAT.

Tobi is provided as one of the many applications using Tradelink’s revolutionary Trader Documentation Service (TDS). TDS allows organisations (large and small) to prepare, send and receive all of the necessary trade documentation (including procurement, settlement, logistics, and government) using a single online service. Above all, certificate of origin and export licence documents applied for and transmitted via Tradelink’s SilkNet/ValuNet service can be sent together with other commercial documents to complete the full set of documents required by an overseas buyer.

Justin Yue, CEO of Tradelink says, “Using the Tobi service, traders can enjoy the benefits of document inheritance thus saving data entry effort, reducing errors, ensuring consistency across documents and also the consolidation of data from multiple documents. This is a significant milestone in our strive to meet the needs of global traders for more effective and efficient transaction services.”

For cross-border settlement, Tobi uses Providing a standardised technical and legal infrastructure, enables multiple parties to exchange data and documents online within a secure environment. A set of agreed rules and formats allows for multiparty contracts and facilitates transfer of ownership for electronic bills of lading. For security, uses public/private key infrastructure, digital signatures and advanced encryption techniques. The solution can also deliver online reconciliation of trade data, enhancing importer and exporter process flows and simplifying trade credit and risk services provided by banks.

Barry Morse, CEO of adds: “The introduction of this technology is delivering big benefits to exporters in increasing the speed, visibility and predictability of payment flow while delivering improved accuracy in order fulfilment to importers.”

“With global trade transactions on the rise, our goal is to increase efficiency by eliminating paper document handling throughout our supply chain,” says Jens Podewski, division manager trade finance of Otto. “We needed a framework to provide secure paperless trade flow from the production facility all the way to the end users. Tobi does just that and helps save us time and costs on each transaction. We encourage all our partners, suppliers and customers to join in this effort.”

The key technology behind Tobi is the iDEX eTransaction platform from Core. iDEX is a suite of sophisticated software components built with open technologies such as Java and XML. The system fully leverages XML for B2B transactions and straight through processing, Java and J2EE for robustness and scalability, and the Internet for interactive and dynamic access by a large SME community.

Yehong Zhang, managing consultant of Core says, “We are very proud of being part of Tobi’s success. As the platform technology, iDEX enables each organisation to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in managing their transactions and supply chains. Its combination of flexibility, implementation speed and ability to reduce ownership costs makes iDEX a powerful technology that benefits not only Tobi, but also helps in the drive to make Hong Kong an international logistics hub. We will continue to work closely with all parties to promote Tobi’s ultimate success.”

Tradelink is a joint venture of the Hong Kong SAR government and the private sector whose shareholders are all key players in the local trading community. Tradelink’s mission is to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of

  • Hong Kong’s trading community by making available a range of value-added electronic commerce services, with equal emphasis on automating commonly-used trade transactions of the Hong Kong SAR government and the commercial sector.


“The Otto combined group operates in 22 countries in Europe, America and Asia through 90 catalogue and store retailers and wholesalers for private and business customers and through numerous service companies. The sales in the 2001/2002 financial year reached €22,988mn, of which 53% were achieved internationally. The number of employees of Otto Combined Group was 79,137.” is a global initiative backed by the world’s banks and logistics companies to move trade onto the Internet. The System provides secure electronic transmission of business data and documents along the entire trade chain from front end order processing and management to backend trade document exchange. The solution delivers online reconciliation of trade date enhancing importer and exporter process flows and simplifying trade credit and risk services provided by banks. The majority of the world’s major banks, container shipping companies, and many leading multinationals are members of the community. The company’s website can be found at

Core Systems, founded in 1995, is an established software development and IT consulting company. Its flagship product iDEX is a suite of eTransaction management software that enables the rapid delivery of dynamic and collaborative solutions catering to business and to the public. With offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York, CORE offers a global network of associates to implement and integrate the iDEX platform with legacy systems and operations. The company’s websites can be found at and