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Business Published At: 08 Jul 2024, 18:09 p.m.

ICCB holds workshop on Digitalizing International Trade in Bangladesh


Traditional trade involves many paper documents and processes. Digitalization would reduce the time and cost associated with manual handling, courier services, and delays caused by lost or misplaced documents. Digital records would be instantly and seamlessly transmitted, verified, accessed, and stored, leading to faster and more secure transactions.

This would reduce the administrative burden and eliminate errors and discrepancies caused by manual data entry said Ms. Waseqa Ayesha Khan, M.P., Hon’ble State Minister, Ministry of Finance while addressing at the workshop on Digitalizing International Trade in Bangladesh as Chief Guest jointly organized by ICC Bangladesh, ICC DSI at a city Hotel. The Workshop was sponsored by ADB Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program (TSCFP), US Department of State, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) while the knowledge partner was Standard Chartered Bank.

Bangladesh is set to join the emerging Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) that facilitates international transactions in currencies alternative to the US dollar. The up-and-coming Chinese-broached payment platform is a second global payment system the country is going to use after the US-dominated SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) to make payment outside the country, the Minister added.

Nevertheless, the country still needs to take some more steps to make the digital infrastructure sound, secure, and robust to facilitate the efficient settlement of international paperless trade said Ms. waseqa.

Hailing the role of ICC Bangladesh for organizing the workshop, the state minister said the government will undertake necessary steps for preparation of required law in consultation with relevant ministries, trade bodies and other stakeholders for approval of the parliament.

In his speech ICC Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman said by adopting the globally recognized digital standards promoted by the ICC DSI, Bangladesh can streamline its trade processes, reducing paperwork and manual interventions. This efficiency can lead to faster processing times, lower costs, and reduced errors. Also by encouraging the use of innovative technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, the ICC DSI can help Bangladesh stay at the forefront of technological advancements in trade. This can lead to the development of new digital tools and platforms that further enhance trade efficiency.

As the ICC DSI promotes the creation of favorable regulatory environments for digital trade, by aligning with these global standards, Bangladesh can ensure its trade regulations are compatible with international best practices, making it easier for businesses to operate across borders, Mr. Rahman added.

ICC Bangladesh Banking Commission Chairman Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali in his welcome address said trade digitalisation could help reduce the incidences of data mismatch similar to that major incongruity in Bangladesh’s export has been identified recently. Ensuring cyber security and data protection are two of the vital areas of safe digital international trade, he added.

Nearly 200 participants from different banks and other relevant organizations joined the workshop.

ICCB Secretary General Ataur Rahman moderated the opening session. Ms. Pamela Mar, Managing Director, Digital Standard Initiative (DSI), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) conducted the Workshop.

Mr. Iftekhar Alam, Regional Head, South & South East Asia International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), Islamic Development Bank; Dr Rupa Chanda, Director Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, UNESCAP; Edimon Ginting, Country Director, Bangladesh Resident Mission, Asian Development Bank; and Naser Ezaz Bijoy, Vice President , ICC Bangladesh & Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank also spoke on the occasion.