Interoperable, frictionless cross-border digital trade is a multilateral win-win for all participating countries undergoing transformation in sync via MOIs.

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with an international cooperative SWIFT to accelerate trade digitalization globally.

The MOI looks at offering more efficient and cost-effective cross-border paperless trade with SWIFT’s community of more than 11,000 financial institutions and corporates in over 200 countries and territories. This will reduce or eliminate the need for multiple bilateral linkages and siloed systems.

Moving manual processes to digitally-enabled ones also creates opportunities to shorten trade processing times and opens up possibilities for innovation such as new trade financing offerings to the trade community, according the signatories.

SWIFT + TradeTrust 

Through this MOI, both parties will work to combine IMDA’s TradeTrust—an interoperability framework that connects various platforms for the exchange of digital trade documentation—with the SWIFT community.

TradeTrust provides documents authentication and offers title transfer through open-source software. This functions alongside legal harmonization to recognize digital documents. When paired with SWIFT’s ability to securely-transport industry-standardized electronic trade messaging, scanned hardcopy documentation and digitally-signed assets, seamless exchange of electronic trade documents around the world will be possible.

As a highly trade-dependent city, Singapore has been pushing hard for trade digitalization, partnering with various international organizations, governments and industry players to boost cross-border trade. Earlier this year, IMDA had signed a cooperation agreement with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and 17 multinational firms to move from existing paper-based processes to digitally-enabled ones.

Said IMDA’s Assistant Chief Executive Jane Lim: “International trade is the lifeblood of Singapore’s economy. Singapore is working with various partners internationally to develop an interoperability framework, TradeTrust, for the seamless and efficient exchange of digitalized trade documentation across different communities. We are pleased to partner with SWIFT to further develop a trusted, interoperable and global digital trade ecosystem.”

SWIFT’s Chief Business Development Officer Alain Raes added: “The trade ecosystem faces digital disruption and requires open standards, legal harmonization and coming together as a community to address fragmentation, friction and risks. Our collaboration with Singapore’s global TradeTrust initiative allows us to play a central role in this effort, and we look forward to working together towards a shared vision of a frictionless, dynamic, global trade ecosystem.”