31st October 2018 – we.trade and eTradeConnect announced today, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on collaboration between the newly launched digital trade finance platform in Hong Kong, eTradeConnect, and we.trade, the leading European digital trade finance platform. After several weeks of joint work, the parties start the immediate development with this MoU, for the interconnection of the two platforms for trade transactions, allowing corporates in we.trade to initiate a trade with companies in eTradeConnect as well as requesting financing of invoices and vice versa. This signifies the first and unprecedented connection between two large-scale blockchain trade finance platforms.
Interconnection of blockchain networks is a key requirement to expand the reach of members and services that each individual network offers: with this MoU, we.trade and eTradeConnect, jointly with their IT partners, respectively IBM and OneConnect, have designed for the first time in the world a framework for that connection to materialise between the two platforms, through a proof-of-concept (POC) to be completed in the next months.
eTradeConnect, a blockchain-based trade finance platform initiated by a consortium of 12 banks in Hong Kong, has been launched since September 2018. Leveraging the unique features of blockchain technology, eTradeConnect aims to build better trust among trade participants, improve efficiency, reduce risks and facilitate trade counterparties to obtain financing by digitising trade documents and automating trade finance processes. eTradeConnect is the first large-scale multi-bank blockchain project in Hong Kong.
we.trade, the first blockchain-based trade finance platform in Europe, based on the IBM Blockchain Platform, was launched in June 2018 and has been providing service to 14 major European banks. we.trade aims to facilitate cross-border trades to be conducted in a seamless, simple and trustful manner. Since the launch of we.trade in June 2018, we.trade has demonstrated its solid development in Europe and has announced its roadmap of expansion beyond Europe from 2019. The collaboration between eTradeConnect and we.trade opens the first doorway between the Asian and European markets.
The two platforms share a common vision of facilitating cross-border trades through establishing global connectivity. The collaboration of the two platforms with similar functions using similar technology also creates strong bonding and synergy, towards the development of a global network of networks. This paves the way for a digitised trade corridor between Asia and Europe for trade finance business.
Haster Tang, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Trade Finance Platform Company Limited, said “We are delighted to collaborate with we.trade and believe that the connection between the two platforms will revolutionize the trade finance ecosystem for the benefit of trade partners. The cross-blockchain connectivity between eTradeConnect and We.trade will definitely gain recognition from the stakeholders.”
Roberto Mancone, COO, we.trade, echoed this sentiment, “we.trade is delighted to partner with eTradeConnect with the support from HKMA, this collaboration concerns not only IT connectivity but also operational models, legal frameworks, and governance between the networks and their users. This type of co-operation between platforms will be more and more necessary going forward, given the decentralization and proliferation of global digital solutions. It is exciting for we.trade to be at the forefront of this movement and co-developing the first such interconnection development between trade platforms. Our aim is to develop a framework that can be applied to connect to other networks in the future.”