Insight & Analysis

Press Release: International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) conducts first transaction with partners on Bolero trade finance platform

Published: Apr 2021

31st March 2021 – A Cash Against Documents transaction orchestrated by Saudi-based ITFC was successfully completed between SOFITEX and Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), using an electronic bill of lading issued by the CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, through Bolero’s digital trade finance platform for the first time.

Newspaper press release

The transaction concerned a cotton shipment originating from Burkina Faso, shipped by CMA CGM Group from the Port of Lomé in Togo.

Bolero’s cutting-edge platform executed the encrypted exchange of documents rapidly and smoothly, accelerating a process that would usually take weeks as parties exchanged physical documentation across Burkina Faso, Togo, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.

Abou Jallow, General Manager of Operations at ITFC said “With a mandate to advance trade across the developing world, ITFC is committed to working closely with our partners in member countries to capitalise on the digitalization of global trade. Facilitating this online trade transaction for our partners in Burkina Faso marks a crucial milestone in the digitalization of trade in Africa, and we can expect to see improved efficiency across the entire trade cycle. By embracing technology through platforms such as Bolero’s, we can ensure greater visibility, transparency, accountability, and control in the trade of strategic commodities such as cotton.”

“Bolero’s platform is designed to enable trading partners to collaborate securely and efficiently, removing the traditional hurdles of international trade while remaining fully compliant with international standards and regulations,” said Andrew Raymond, CEO at Bolero.

Raymond added; “With its enhanced user experience, the platform delivers greater functionality and seamless integration with banks and other third-party systems, providing end-to-end visibility to corporate clients and banks.”

This transaction is a prime example of the development of digital business in Africa, thanks to collaboration amongst the bank, exporter, trader and carrier.

“By digitizing documentation exchanges and payment processes, Bolero’s platform accelerates trade transactions and demonstrates the potential to drive efficiency in trade operations for the benefit of all trade participants, by combining technology with collaboration,” said Lise Théophile, Middle Office Execution Manager for LDC’s Cotton Platform.

“This is an important step for the maritime industry. Digitalization is a core pillar of CMA CGM strategy. We have been following up on developments and collaborated with BOLERO for years. We were looking forward to this important step. E-BLs facilitate documentation flow between carriers, shippers and banks. With the global sanitary situation, it has become obvious that we must speed up the transition to electronic transmission of international sales documentation. CMA CGM E-Commerce teams have prepared for the challenge and we are ready to develop E-BLs with our global customers.”, said Marc Bourdon, Senior Vice President commercial and agencies network of the CMA CGM Group.

Lassana Kargougou, Sales Director at SOFITEX added “Our first digital shipping consignment via Bolero’s platform was a real success. Eliminating documentary collection delays, which can take up to 21 days, to being able to retain and access all shipping documents in one place without the risk of misplacing them, has increased both efficiency and confidence across the entire process. We are now happy to extend the use of the platform to other partners to digitize the Cash-Against-Documents process related to the sale of cotton fiber”.

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