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Future of Trade report: technology to bridge trade finance gap and accelerate SME growth

Future of Trade report: technology to bridge trade finance gap and accelerate SME growth

On
15 May, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC),
the world’s biggest Free Zone and Dubai government authority on commodities
trade and enterprise, launched
its latest report on the Future of
Trade
.

According to CEO of DMCC Mr Gautam Sashittal, global trade and trade finance are at the cusp
of a digital revolution.

“Just as the shipping container revolutionised trade in the
1950s, sweeping advance in tech will reshape trade and how we move goods across
borders. Our research helps us all understand how global trade will evolve, and
how we can prepare, over the next decade,” Mr Sashittal said.

According to the report, technology advancements are ripe
for industrialisation in the trade sector and could bridge the current US$1.5
trillion trade finance gap, with potential to inject new growth in trade.

The research highlights the emerging impact of digital
transformation for importers and exporters, and the world’s top ten commodity
trading hubs, along with the ongoing shifts in global economic power.

The report states that 50% of SME funding applications are
rejected by banks and that alternative trade finance, powered by fintech and blockchain,
is on the rise. For example, the alternative finance market in the APAC region
more than doubled between 2015 and 2016 to the total value of US$245.2 billion.

The report also notes that blockchain is likely to redefine
the trade sector over the next decade, providing faster, more secure and
effective ways to handle workflows and move goods across borders, but much progress
is still to be made.

With a ten-year outlook, the report states that the world’s
economic centre of gravity is shifting to Asia and that China’s Belt and Road
initiative is gathering momentum. Furthermore, China’s increasing reliance on
domestic consumption and move to technology-led manufacturing will see 100
million labour-intensive jobs shift to other low-cost countries. This will lead
to accelerated manufacturing growth in for example Vietnam, Myanmar and
Indonesia.

“Trade
and trade finance will be revolutionised by blockchain and other emerging
technologies. The UAE and Dubai are advancing fast by looking well into the
future to capitalise on these changes critical to retaining our position as the
world’s number one commodities trade hub,” said Executive Chairman of DMCC Mr Ahmed
Bin Sulayem.

The Future of Trade 2018 report includes four chapters: (1) the Changing Nature of Global Trade, (2) the
Impact on Digitalisation, (3) Bridging
the gap in Trade Finance, and (4) Shaping the Future of Sustainability in Trade.

The report builds on in-depth insights from 250
industry leaders, academics and experts across 6 leading commodity trade hubs,
London, Zurich, Dubai, Singapore, Johannesburg and Hong Kong in partnership
with Asia House, as well as quantitative
global research by the Centre for Economics and
Business Research
(Cebr) and a global leading management consulting firm.

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