IBM is collaborating with Dubai Customs, Dubai Trade and its IT provider Dutech, to explore the use of blockchain technology for the import and re-export process of goods in and out of Dubai.
In February 2016, the Dubai government established a 'Global Blockchain Council', setting out plans to execute all its transactions on a blockchain by 2020.
Using Hyperledger Fabric and IBM Cloud, the blockchain application transmits real-time data allowing participants to the transaction to receive up-to-the-minute information about the state of goods and the status of the shipment. The ambitions is to integrate all the key trade process stakeholders from the ordering stage, in which the importer obtains a letter of credit from their bank, through the intermediary stages of freight and shipping, and ending with customs and payment.
As part of the initiative, IBM is also working with du, a UAE-based telecommunications service provider that is conveying data from internet of things (IoT); Emirates NBD Bank, the letter of credit issuing bank; Banco Santander, the letter of credit responding bank; Aramex, the freight forwarder; and a leading Airline, as the airway carrier.
Amr Refaat, general manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan, says: "Our collaboration today with leading Dubai organizations across different sectors in trade finance and transportation will showcase how blockchain will revolutionise the way businesses interact with one another and with their customers and suppliers."