EBRD and partners explore digitization in green trade finance ► FINCHANNEL

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is stepping up its support for the digital transition of trade finance by facilitating test transactions between QNB ALAHLI, Banca Comercială Română and UniCredit on the digital commerce platform we.trade. Testing will take place as part of we.trade’s preview offering program, with a particular focus on green trade finance.

The preview offering program allows banks and customers around the world to participate in test transactions with we.trade member banks. According to the EBRD, these banks also benefit from extensive operational, information technology, sales and marketing advisory services, as well as legal and compliance advice, tailored to their level of digitization.

we.trade is owned by 12 European banks, technology company IBM and CRIF, a global provider of trade credit and business information. The platform is based on Hyperledger Fabric from the Linux Foundation and runs on the IBM Blockchain platform.

Digitization and green finance are two of the EBRD’s priorities under its current five-year strategic and capital framework. As part of this approach, the EBRD is partnering with digital solution providers and banks to support the digitization of trade finance in and beyond the economies in which it operates. The Bank is also exploring possible approaches for reviewing and verifying sustainability to scale up the supply of green trade finance in its regions.

In addition, the EBRD is working with the Banking Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Trade and Forfaiting Association to advance the adoption of legal frameworks that enable digital commerce and trade finance.

Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions, said: “We are delighted to support QNB ALAHLI and Banca Comercială Română through the preliminary offer program on we.trade and to facilitate their test transactions with UniCredit. Green trade finance is an essential part of green finance, and it is therefore all the more important – and urgent – to take it to a new level with the introduction of new technologies. Digitization will make business processes easier, faster and more efficient. This will allow our partners to better understand their markets and provide cutting-edge solutions to meet the urgent need for green products and services.

Mohamed Bedeir, CEO of QNB ALAHLI, said: “Digital commerce can play one of the most vital roles in the post-pandemic global economic recovery. At QNB ALAHLI, we believe in the need to strategically approach new sustainable business models that integrate emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, which are expected to improve the business landscape in the very near future and significantly improve the business environment. customer experience. It is a great pleasure for us to cooperate with the EBRD in this interesting project, which meets our common objectives and supports the transition to a greener economy.

Bogdan Speteanu, Executive Director, Corporate Products at Banca Comercială Română, commented: “Trade finance is going through a period of transformation that has been accelerated by the pandemic. In this context, we.trade, and its EBRD-supported preview offering program, is an excellent initiative and can become a new pillar in this development. The digital transition must become the mantra of the entire business ecosystem, which includes banks, companies, innovators and trade bodies, in order to encourage green finance. At Banca Comercială Română, we have technology and education at the heart of our vision and we believe this is an important step in preparing for the future of trade finance.

Francesca Nenci, Global Head, Trade Finance at UniCredit, said: “Customers are increasingly asking to use digital platforms to improve their internal processes. The digitization of trade finance is the only possible choice to improve the sustainability of this business for our clients. We are therefore pleased to join the EBRD in its effort to support the digital transition in trade finance and, more specifically, in the experimentation of innovative digital solutions, such as we.trade.

QNB ALAHLI, Banca Comercială Română and UniCredit participate in the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Program (TFP), launched in 1999 to promote foreign trade to, from and between the economies in which the EBRD operates. Under this program, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors. The TFP currently includes more than 100 partner banks in 30 economies where the EBRD invests and more than 800 confirming banks around the world.

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