Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub Partners with Hong Kong Monetary Authority on Trade Finance TechChallenge

The Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH) Centre in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) have partnered on a trade finance project to highlight the opportunity to improve the sector of finance with technology. The “TechChallenge — Digitising Trade Finance” is now accepting applications from private firms interested in this sector of Fintech.

The project is being pursued in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Institute of International Finance (IIF), the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), and the Wolfsberg Group, the HKMA and the BISIH Centre in Hong Kong. The group is said to have identified areas where private and public sector ideas could help address TradeTech challenges.

“The TechChallenge is taking place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 global pandemic, which is impacting global trade volumes and by implication the livelihoods of many SMEs. This initiative recognises that novel technologies and public-private partnerships can assist in improving outcomes, including through further digitising trade finance,” commented Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BISIH.

Edmond Lau, Senior Executive Director of the HKMA, said the HKMA is pleased to work with the BISIH to launch the TechChallenge.

“We have a shared goal of addressing the pain points in the trade finance business, and this initiative is one of the key steps towards achieving this goal. We envisage that the TechChallenge will encourage international collaboration, spur innovation and produce fruitful results that benefit the trade finance industry globally.”

The TechChallenge is administered by the Deloitte Asia Pacific Blockchain Lab and the deadline for submissions is 31 August 2020.

The BIS Innovation Hub was established in 2019 to identify and develop insights into critical trends in Fintech of relevance to central banks. Currently, there are Hubs in Switzerland, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Over the next two years, new centres will be opened in collaboration with the Bank of Canada (Toronto), the Bank of England (London), the European Central Bank/Eurosystem (Frankfurt and Paris) and four Nordic central banks (Danmarks Nationalbank, the Central Bank of Iceland, the Central Bank of Norway and Sveriges Riksbank in Stockholm). The BIS says it will also form a strategic partnership with the Federal Reserve System (New York).

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