Thursday, 02 November 2017 23:01

Industry calls on govt to lead planning for ‘digital trading’ future

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Industry calls on govt to lead planning for ‘digital trading’ future Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Industry associations the Export Council of Australia and the Australian Digital Commerce Association, along with professional services firm KPMG, have released a paper calling for the Australian Government and industry to come together to plan for a digitally-enabled trading future in the face of digital planning already underway by Hong Kong and Singapore.

ECA chief executive Lisa McAuleyhas issued a warning that Singapore, Hong Kong and private supply chains are already putting in place digital platforms and, "if we do not act now, Australia will miss the first mover advantages", and, with it, “the opportunity to shape the global system in a way that benefits Australian consumers and businesses".

“Unlike today, where paper is the foundation for international trade processes, we believe that by 2025 Australia’s international trade value chain can be both digital and secure. Data will flow between nations, but privacy will be maintained, and commercially sensitive information will be secure,” McAuley says.

McCauley notes that truly digital communications would increase trade and stimulate the world economy, and would significantly lower costs and trade frictions, simplify existing processes and enable innovation. “It would boost certainty – for consumers, importers and exporters. It would guarantee the quality and provenance of the goods, as well as the processes, standards and supply chains behind them.”

Laszlo Peter, head of Digital Ledger Services Australia, said by combining expertise across industry verticals and emerging technologies, Australia has the opportunity to “create a new generation of trade platform that will help improve our competitiveness as a world leading trade, supply chain and provenance hub. It is our chance to re-imagine the global trade industry from the ground up and connect the dots".

“The opportunity to create a certified and trusted supply chain all the way from farm or factory gate in Australia to a supermarket in Beijing or a warehouse in Milan means that genuine, high-quality Australian exports can command the price premium that they deserve,” says Nicholas Giurietto, chief executive and managing director of the ADCA.

“This is much more than an opportunity for Australia’s blockchain technology capability – it is a marketing advantage for which all Australian exporters should be clamouring.”

The ECA, ADCA and KPMG say the benefits of a digital platform would be transformative, and including simpler processes will mean more businesses are able to engage in international trade and value chains will operate more efficiently and with greater certainty.

“Whilst the benefits will be large, they will not be spread evenly,” the three organisations said.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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