WAVE OF GLOBAL TRADE DIGITALIZATION THANKS TO COVID-19
Digitalization is perhaps the main change accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost no economic sector of modern life was left out of the so-called “new normal” in which the Internet is becoming increasingly important, and of course, global trade also took a turn to incorporate digitization.
Platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, which facilitate teleworking, have seen staggering growth, very quickly, among importers and exporters’ teams for any type of goods and services.
These tools made remote operations easier and allowed teams to keep a good-pace work environment, even in the most difficult phases of the health crisis around the world.
This happened while millions of consumers on the planet were forced to switch to online services that include mobile banking, telemedicine, food and other products delivery, online education, electronic commerce, streaming entertainment and social network.
The global commerce sector has also embraced digital solutions that show how business operations took big steps into the future during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Credit Report we want to tell you about the most implemented solutions by different commercial companies which in turn implies great progress for Trade finance digitalization.
Increased use of electronic signatures
Securing supply chains is still one of the most important challenges for commercial companies in most parts of the world, especially in Latin America, whose isolation and confinement measures still persist in some cities.
Obstacles are not only linked to the goods transport but also to the managers and teams responsible for authorizing business operations.
One solution many companies found was the increased adoption of electronic signatures. These digital rubrics made it possible to accelerate the operations of importing and exporting companies in all kinds of markets.
In particular, because it is a system that guaranteed security and made it possible to avoid the unnecessary personnel mobilization only to get a handwritten authorization signature.
Kerry Logistics and CargoSmart, two companies in the global carrier industry listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, were among the first to adopt a system for the exchange of digitized documents using Blockchain or cadenas de bloques, in Spanish.
The first tests were conducted in late 2018 under the guidance of Deloitte. By the beginning of last year, it was a stable and transparent system that facilitated commercial operations in Asia.
Initiatives such as the above-mentioned directed greater use of digital documents among other importing and exporting companies around the world during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The key element was not only that companies agreed to work on an interoperable system for different markets, but governments in several parts of the world also understood the importance of adopting greater use of digital documents.
Digitized documentation helped streamline the pre-processes of global commerce and also enabled companies to optimize resources for legalizing and certifying each of the papers needed for a business operation.
The adoption of more electronic signatures and digital documents made global trade easier in the midst of a harsh context, because it allowed operations to gain transparency and immediacy.
What comes next is a new phase of further digitization for global trade, so that different digital systems platforms can be interoperable between different companies and different markets.
As a result, we can expect the growth of the Foreign Trade Single Window of Contact initiatives, which may well leave out obsolete processes for import, export and transit documents.
From Credit Report we are convinced that this greater digitalization of global trade is one of the positive consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are aware that business companies are facing great challenges now and we are here to provide advice to help them get into new markets with informed decisions about who their business partners are and how their credit profile is at the moment.