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UK and Thailand Partnership Seeks to Improve Trading Environment

The UK Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation (C4DTI) has partnered with the Electronic Transaction Development Agency (ETDA). The organisations aim to improve the trading environment between UK and Thailand.

The C4DTI and ETDA’s new partnership project aims to provide a cheaper, faster, simpler and more sustainable trading environment between UK and Thailand. The project is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office.

C4DTI is providing technical assistance to Thailand. The UK centre is supporting the removal of legal barriers and alignment of national law with UN Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records.

The move hopes to enable commercial trade documents to be handled digitally; making the trading system paperless. Should the project be successful, this will help SMEs to trade at a lower cost. Making the system paperless removes inefficient paper-based processes and quickens trade transactions.

ICC and Commonwealth studies estimate that legal reform could offer up to $9trillion in trade growth across the G7. Reforms will also provide an 80 per cent cut in trade transaction costs. Benefits include reducing processing time by 75 per cent and cutting the trade finance gap by 50 per cent.

Overall, the existing system allows up to 27 paper documents to be used in a transaction. The system can take up to three months to process all documents, which should be completed in hours if digitalized.

UK trading with Thailand

The project is delivered in partnership with the Centre for Applied Sustainable Transition Law (CASTL). CASTL is to provide legal expertise and project facilitation.

Chris Southworth, secretary general of the ICC in the UK, commented on the partnership. He said: “This partnership is another great example of the enormous gains to be had for the UK and other nations when we work together as a global community to modernise trade systems and remove all the unnecessary paper. This project will help us align efforts across government and the private sector and accelerate digital transformation across the trade system.”

Mark Gooding OBE, His Majesty’s ambassador to Thailand, also discussed the significance of the project. He explained: “The British Embassy Bangkok is thrilled to be partnering with ICC United Kingdom and ETDA Thailand to bring global trade into the twenty-first century. We also hope to make it more efficient, accessible, affordable, and environmentally friendly to trade internationally through digitalisation. This also plays an important role in placing the UK and Thailand at the forefront of global efforts to encourage inclusive economic growth through digital trade.”

Dr Sak Segkhoonthod, advisor and acting deputy executive director at ETDA, also commented. Segkhoonthod said: “It is a great opportunity for ETDA MDES, government agencies and private sectors in Thailand to learn about guidelines and international practices. It is also an opportunity to exchange views on the importance of digital trade economy domestically and internationally. Finding recommended solutions together will increase economic value and also the country’s competitiveness to keep up with the world transformation.”

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