Host: Deepesh Patel, Editorial Director, Trade Finance Global

Featuring: Oswald Kuyler, Managing Director, ICC DSI

Trade Finance Talks host Deepesh Patel sat down with Managing Director of newly established ICC DSI (Digital Standards Initiative), a Singapore based alliance aimed at promoting digital trade, harmonisation and trade standards. Backed by the International Chamber of Commerce, Singapore Government and Asian Development Bank, we discussed the roadmap for 2021, the key priorities for digital trade enablement, and the role of the ICC DSI with Oswald Kuyler.

This video covers the following:

  • What are the aims and objectives of the ICC DSI, and where will it fit in within the wider remit of the ICC?
  • Who funds the DSI, and what’s the organisational structure?
  • Has the ICC DSI had any recent wins?
  • Where are the biggest issues when it comes to the digitalisation of trade?
  • Do we need standardisation of standardisation?
  • Is it really a digitalisation problem, or is it a liquidity or signposting issue?
  • What can other organisations who want to work with ICC DSI do to get involved?
  • What’s in stock for the next 12 months at the ICC DSI?

Related: GLEIF and LEI’s. TFG’s interviews Gerard Hartsink of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation at Finastra’s World Trade Symposium.


The situation today

  • Difficulty finding standards: No single view of standards supporting trade and ongoing standard creation activities. 
  • Global Regulation doesn’t support electronic records: Legal uncertainty regarding acceptance of digital trade documentation 
  • Platforms legal frameworks hinder interoperability: MSMEs need to sign up to every single platform within their ecosystem to enable end to end settlement. 
  • Trade Standards: Limited clarity on foundational standards, limited activity to bridge standard gaps (Example: legal entity identity, electronic bills of lading).  
  • Technical Standards: Integration of blockchain and non-blockchain based trade platforms are inefficient at scale.  

Our 2021 deliverables

  • Simplify access to standards: Release online platform simplifying connectivity between industry participants and standard setting organisations. 
  • Championing UNCITRAL MLETR: Release advocacy packs to enable industry led government partnerships to make the business case for change. 
  • Production of a mechanism to simplify legal interoperability challenges: Drafting of a product that could enable cross platform settlement. 
  • Trade Standards: Released two standards packages orientated towards building a strong electronic trade foundation, re-using over re-creating where possible. 
  • Technical standards: Release standards for unique document creation, API connectivity and communication 

Our five year ambition

  • Standards adoption becomes the norm: Solutions leverage foundational standards for trade related data and processes. 
  • Accelerated adoption: Functional equivalence for electronic records to their physical counterparts enabled in a minimum of 5 additional countries.  
  • Cross platform settlements and liability coverage solved: Enabling a bridge between nations who have functional equivalence for electronic records, and those still relying on private laws arrangements. 
  • Trade Standards: All foundational standards required to digitize trade has been defined, is accessible and can be leveraged by all industry participants. 
  • Technical Standards: Simplified communication, asset creation and exchange standards for DLT and non-DLT based platforms.