In order to move trade finance into the digital era, the HKMA, in collaboration with several local banks, completed a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) work on trade finance in March 2017.
Riding on the success of the PoC work, seven banks in Hong Kong decided to commercialise the prototype into production with a view to digitising paper-based documents and automating the trade finance process to reduce errors and risks of fraud. Under the facilitation of the HKMA, eTradeConnect, a blockchain-based trade finance platform fully funded by a consortium of major banks in Hong Kong, was officially launched in October 2018.
The HKMA signed and exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Monetary Authority of Singapore in November 2017 to jointly develop the Global Trade Connectivity Network (GTCN), a DLT-based cross-border open trade finance network between eTradeConnect and the Singapore Networked Trade Platform, to make cross-border trade and trade financing safer, more efficient and cost-effective. The GTCN is built on an open architecture so that other jurisdictions may join easily.
In October 2018, an MoU was also signed between eTradeConnect and we.trade, a European blockchain-based trade finance platform, to conduct a PoC on connecting the two platforms.
This video gives an overview of eTradeConnect.