Contour, the global trade finance network, has today announced a transaction on its blockchain network between Vale and Nanjing Iron & Steel Group International Trade Co., Ltd. Contour’s continued expansion in iron ore trade showcases the significant benefits that it can provide to the sector.
Vale acted as the seller of iron ore in its first trade on the Contour network, with Standard Chartered Bank supporting Vale in the transaction. Nanjing Iron & Steel Group International Trade Co., Ltd. was the buyer, with DBS Bank supporting their side of the trade. With both new and existing participants on the network, Contour is continually growing its offering to the market, digitising traditionally paper-based processes and streamlining trade.
Through using Contour’s network, Vale and Nanjing Iron & Steel Group International Trade Co., Ltd. benefited from real-time integration with other areas of trade, allowing them to cut down on the time taken to conduct the transaction.
Through collaboration with essDOCS, an integrator on Contour’s network, the trade also benefitted from digitising commonly difficult paper-based trade documentation processes – namely drafting, approving, signing, issuing, transferring and presenting bills of lading and supporting documents. This collaboration highlights Contour’s aim of establishing an inclusive trade ecosystem – allowing both large and small organisations to benefit from its network.
As lockdown eases across the world and organisations adapt to social distancing and remote working, the way international trade is conducted – including the Letter of Credit (LC) process – will come under greater scrutiny. Businesses will seek to find more innovative ways of managing trade finance documentation, and a digital solution – such as Contour’s – is a key example of how this can be achieved.
Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour, said: “It’s clear from the recent transactions that there is an increasing demand for our offering to the market. With Vale joining as a new member of our network, we’re continuing to change the way international trade is conducted. Our growing presence in the iron ore market serves to highlight the need for an effective solution to traditional trade finance processes. We’ve always looked to develop a solution that is for the entire industry – not for a few participants. Creating a digital ecosystem would drive trillions in new global trade flows while also extending the benefits to smaller corporates as well as large institutions. The continued support of our members such as DBS, Standard Chartered Bank and Nanjing Iron & Steel Group International Trade Co., Ltd. only serve to highlight how in demand this technology is and the benefits it provides.”
Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Malaysia said: “We are proud to be executing our first blockchain-enabled letter of credit (LC) in the country. This milestone is all the more significant as we are also supporting Vale in their first-ever blockchain LC transaction. This demonstrates the Bank’s keen commitment and digital capability in supporting cross-border trade using cutting-edge technology platforms. Technology has always been at the heart of our strategy as a leading bank in the digital space to drive efficiencies, increase automation, introduce global platforms, reduce manual errors and strengthen our defence against financial crime. We also recognise that, increasingly, our clients are looking for new solutions to address their need for greater efficiency and security.”
John Laurens, Group Head of Global Transaction Services, DBS Bank, said: “A connected trade ecosystem is key to unlocking greater efficiencies for businesses and we are heartened to be working with like-minded partners in pushing digital trade to new frontiers. We are proud to have played an integral role in yet another landmark transaction in the iron ore industry as the issuing bank for Nanjing Iron & Steel Group International Trade Co., Ltd., marking our fourth transaction on the network within a span of four months. This is in line with the accelerated pace of digital adoption we have seen brought about by the advent of Covid-19. As economies emerge from the crisis, businesses increasingly see that digitalisation presents an opportunity to transform the way they interact with their customers, partners and banks, and we look forward to supporting our clients to reinvent their operational blueprints to navigate the new normal with greater agility and dexterity.”