Blog article

Introducing “5G of TradeTech”

Thomas Smolders
March 5, 2022

The World Economic Forum launched its second report, 5G of TradeTech, on problems in the Trade industry.

A TradeTech partnership

The partnership between AREA42, created by Credendo, and the WEF goes back to the start of AREA42.

"When we launched AREA42, we were convinced that there was a need for a community around TradeTech. A place to bring together TradeTech enthusiasts both physically and digitally, to get to know each other and hear about the problems they are struggling with. That way, we can collect ideas together to solve those problems," says Lode Vermeersch.

At the time, there was not even a word to describe the technological solutions to the problems in the trade industry. Yet these solutions are what AREA42 is focusing on, especially when it comes to financing, insurance, and guarantee solutions. "We came up with the word TradeTech pretty quickly. Because the WEF was working on similar issues, we joined forces from the very beginning."

How do you identify a company or a person?

The WEF, with the help of AREA42, released its first report on TradeTech in 2020. That one served mainly to frame the landscape and get a clear definition of the concept of TradeTech. In the new report, 5G of TradeTech, which was released at the end last month, we focus on concrete issues that need to be addressed. In total, it covers 5 Global Topics - hence the report's name.

"Several topics are right up our alley. For example, there is a chapter on determining the identity of something. Think of two companies with exactly or almost the same name. How do you know who you are dealing with? The same goes for addresses, which are not always unique. VAT numbers can be a help, but not all countries use them. What is the unique identifier?" says Lode Vermeersch.

“In addition to companies, you have to be able to identify people. Even more difficult is identifying objects. In the chapter on identification, we also look at what 'a contract' and 'an invoice' are, two essential concepts for the definition of transactions.”

Another topic AREA42 worked on is sharing data on certain trade documents and across different platforms. In addition, the WEF focused on global data transmission and liability frameworks, among other topics. There is also a chapter on transactions and legislation around signed documents because the WEF wants to establish a framework that guarantees certain basic guarantees worldwide.

Reduce the risk

“We are looking forward to working with the WEF on solutions in Global Digital Identity and Global Interoperability of Data Models in the coming years”, says Vermeersch. “This allows us to help the trade world and reduce risks. Think about operational risk, legal risk and credit risk. They will never disappear, but we can reduce them together with others. People with specific trade-related problems or potential solutions for known trade problems are always welcome!”