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Dubai launches world’s first B2B Smart Commerce Platform for Free Zones

Dubai launches world’s first B2B Smart Commerce Platform for Free Zones

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has recently
announced
the development of Dubai Blink, the world’s first B2B
smart commerce platform.

The platform will
utilise artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and virtual
business licenses, allowing companies from around the world to connect and trade
via Dubai. It enables both global companies and small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs) to set up digital businesses in Dubai free zones
without the need to be physically there.

Dubai Blink will
speed up trade in free zones by providing comprehensive solutions for companies
to search for services and products, negotiate, and make purchases online via a
unified platform using blockchain smart contracts and machine learning.

The project will
enable virtual company formation to operate business, supply chain, and
services in an interconnected world. It is an end to end platform that operates
and analyzes the performance and health of businesses from a web or mobile app.

It is hoped that Dubai
Blink will transform the future of global supply chains by creating a new trade
platform for global free zone companies. The project offers a new form of
e-commerce known as smart commerce, which utilises AI algorithms and Internet
of Things (IoT) technology that will drive innovation within supply chains,
placing Dubai and the UAE in unique positions at a global level.

According to DAFZA
Director General, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Dubai Blink will be a gateway
to leverage free zone assets, network, and connect with trusted providers of
product or services to evolve your business. It will be an integrated platform
that will allow businesses to manage supply chains and transactions,
underwritten by the speed, truth, and reliability of blockchain smart
contracts.

“Dubai Blink's most
important quality will be its role in meeting the needs of the future. It has
become clear to everyone that the future of world trade will be in the digital
era. As such, this platform will position Dubai as a leader in driving future
global trade in the digital world,” he added.

The initiative seeks
to solve two problems:

The first issue it
will help solve is around identification. Currently, there are lengthy supplier
identification and validation processes. AI algorithms will provide researchers
tailored results in a fractional time. It will replace the existing trade
licensing solutions empowered through process innovations and technologies by
introducing virtual company formation. 

The second challenge
it will solve is around transactions. International trade barriers, regulations
and transaction fees add unnecessary layers of complication to B2B commerce.
The convergence of free zone setups, AI, and blockchain, will radically cut
cross-border transaction costs and time. This will help in guaranteeing
efficiency and enhancing economic growth. Dubai Blink will provide global
companies with the opportunity to gain a virtual business license which will be
known as a Cloud trading license. This will enable them to explore the
commercial opportunities offered by Dubai without the need for an actual
presence on the ground, allowing companies to sample and test the regional
market and explore the opportunities provided in Dubai.

Dubai Blink is
likely to encourage more of companies to expand their businesses in the free
zones, thus creating more jobs and contributing to GDP. It is expected that the
value of global B2B e-commerce will reach USD 7.7 trillion in 2017.

As one of Dubai 10X
initiatives, Dubai Blink was presented to Dubai Free Zones Council, which is
being chaired by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The Free
Zone Council accepted DAFZA’s proposal to form a joint team from free zones to
work with government entities in an integrated and interactive way on the project.
This is expected to stimulate and grow foreign direct investment in Dubai and
allow the free zones to operate more efficiently in the coming years.

According to His
Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Dubai Blink project will be one
of the most innovative models for the future of global supply chains and
e-commerce across the free zones. It will help boost trade for companies
operating in Dubai's free zones, which have chosen the Emirate as a platform
for growth and prosperity.

"We have directed
the free zones to form a joint team to unite our efforts and expertise to make
Dubai Blink a success and help achieve the aims of the Dubai10X initiative – to
make Dubai 10 years ahead of its time. This comes in line with the vision of
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime
Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The work that is being done between the
free zones and government agencies will help create a new model for smart
commerce in the international industry as well an attractive future for foreign
investments within the free zones of Dubai,” he said.

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