Contour partners with ThoughtWorks to ramp up digital trade finance in China

Contour, the global trade finance network, has partnered with international software consultancy ThoughtWorks in China. This marks Contour’s latest milestone in its expansion in the region and in the digitisation of international trade.

Through this partnership, Contour will leverage ThoughtWorks’ software expertise and familiarity with the enterprise solutions landscape in China to help its local clients integrate seamlessly with the Contour Network.

Clients can expect Chinese language-supported integration services specific to their enterprise systems and enhanced user experience and connectivity while using Contour. At the same time, ThoughtWorks will bring the blockchain-based trade finance solution to its clients to help them overcome challenges arising from digitisation and internationalisation. The partnership will also help clients extend their business reach abroad and stay competitive in the global economy.

China – as the world’s largest exporter and one of the top three letter of credit (“LC”) markets globally – is a strategic target for Contour. This partnership will further expand Contour’s existing presence in China and offer Chinese banks and corporates greater accessibility to cross-border trade on the network. Recently, Contour signed its first Chinese production bank, and a leading iron ore company, Xiamen ITG, announced a successful cross-border RMB-denominated LC transaction with Rio Tinto on the Contour Network.

ThoughtWorks is a global leader in digital transformation with over 25 years of software consultancy and delivery experience worldwide. ThoughtWorks also has extensive experience in software development and innovative applications of blockchain technology in finance, providing customised end-to-end services for consulting and delivery to its clients.

The trade finance industry continues to face inefficiencies due to its reliance on paper-based processes. Previous digitisation attempts to solve this have failed due to the lack of a scalable, interoperable global network. Contour is overcoming this challenge by building a blockchain-based network to facilitate more efficient cross-border and domestic LC transactions. To date, Contour members have benefitted from vast efficiency gains, with transactions on the network reducing LC processing times by up to 90%.

Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour said: “We’re excited to expand our footprint in China and are eager to connect more Chinese corporates and banks with their foreign trade counterparts. Since 2019, we have successfully facilitated multiple RMB-denominated LC transactions on our pilot and beta networks. We’re definitely seeing a voracious appetite for trade digitisation in China. By combining our innovation with ThoughtWorks’ experience in the banking sector in China, we strive to deliver the full value of the Contour Network in China and to help local corporates and banks realize their full potential in the global trade ecosystem.”

Song Zhang, CEO at ThoughtWorks China said: “We’re keen to help Contour realise its vision of digitising global trade. The traditional, paper-based trade finance industry is more than ripe for a thorough digital transformation. As global trade begins its steady recovery from the pandemic, this also presents an opportunity for the industry to build back with fewer barriers and greater efficiency.”

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