Commodities Intelligence Centre (CIC) launches its Digital Silk Road Initiative in an effort to support Singaporean businesses amid the downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this, CIC aims to optimize the $42.2 billion worth of cooperation agreements signed by more than 300 small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) on the digital trading platform Zallgo during the 2020 Global Digital Trade Conference.

CIC is a joint venture between leading Asian B2B e-commerce entities ZALL Smart Commerce Group (ZALL), Globe eTrade Services (GeTS), and Singapore Exchange (SGX). It is Singapore’s first B2B e-trading platform that uses blockchain technology to enable secure trade that also complies with existing regulations.

Also, CIC is one of the six commercial partners of the newly established Blockchain for Trade & Connectivity (BTC) Network, an project initiated by the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG). This initiative supported by the National Research Foundation of Singapore seeks to build a risk assessment framework for SMEs to identify the ways through which blockchain can support their business needs.

In view of the recently forged Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest trade pact, CIC aims to help Singaporean companies discover new opportunities and take advantage of the global digital trade economy. The organization plans to do this through enhanced digital connectivity.

With a cumulative transaction volume worth more than $13 billion, CIC plays a strategic role in bringing together SMEs across Singapore and other parts of Asia. The organization recognizes the importance of digitalization in the commodity sector especially as it saw a significant 20 percent year-on-year growth in the number of customers it served through its digital commerce platform.

“We have withstood the test of the pandemic and have witnessed the impact of the industrial internet economy on global trade and investment. As digital trade becomes the new engine of global economic growth, digital connectivity becomes increasingly important for companies to expand their market footprint quickly in a safe and secure manner,” says Peter Yu, Chief Executive Officer at Commodities Intelligence Centre.

Yu believes that CIC will contribute significantly to stimulating activity and growth among businesses not only in Singapore but also in other parts of Asia. “The new partnerships forged with the Digital Silk Road initiative and BTC network strengthens CIC’s existing networks in the region that will enable SMEs to uncover new trading opportunities and optimize their supply chains in cross-border trade through our ecosystem in Asia,” the CIC chief explains.

“CIC is well-placed to provide the necessary tools and guidance in promoting greater efficiency and transparency across global supply chains to help SMEs embrace the power of digitalisation to explore opportunities, casting their net wider, reaching out to a larger pool of reliable partners and suppliers beyond their usual reach,” Yu adds.

To date, CIC’s digital platform already has more than 5,200 registered users. The user base is not limited to Singaporeans. It also includes users from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, and other Asian countries. The official launch of CIC’s Digital Silk Road is expected to provide a considerable boost to economic activity in the Asia Pacific region.

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