Published: Thu, October 26, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

HK, Singapore to link up trade finance blockchain platforms

HK, Singapore to link up trade finance blockchain platforms

"Hong Kong and Singapore are the two leading global financial centers in the region and are actively deploying fintech", Norman Chan, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), said in an announcement Wednesday. "But when it comes to fintech, this is where we recognize that there's a lot of need for collaboration between the regulators".

Both hubs will work towards joint innovation projects, business, and information sharing according to a speech made by Norman Chan, CEO for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, or HKMA, it was reported today.

The Co-operation Agreement (Agreement) was exchanged on 25 October 2017, at the fintech day organised by the HKMA in Hong Kong.

The project involves seven Hong Kong-based banks working on the commercialization of an HKMA-led, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)-based, trade finance proof-of-concept into a production system, dubbed Hong Kong Trade Finance Platform (HKTFP), to digitise and share trade documents, automate processes and reduce risks and fraud. Details of the project are now scarce but could prove a significant undertaking between two major trade hubs. Singapore will hold its own fintech festival in November.

MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said this deal is one of Singapore's more significant FinTech co-operation agreements, given the extensive financial and trade linkages between the two countries.

Financial technology has added a new dimension to the decades-old tussle between Singapore and Hong Kong for the position as Asia's premier financial centre, with both cities throwing hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund start-ups and build ecosystems conducive to innovation. The monetary authority said that it will turn the findings and advice in the second White Paper into a set of practical guidelines for the use of DLT in the banking sector in the future.

" We are especially pleased that we have a live project to enhance the trade finance corridor between the two financial centres", he said.

Musheer Ahmed, interim general manager of FTAHK, said, "Collaboration is crucial to the development of FinTech, not just in Hong Kong but globally".

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