on test course for paperless trade

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 October, 1999, 12:00am, a joint venture between international banking co-operative SWIFT and global logistics-industry co-operative TT Club, has embarked on an ambitious project to make international trade a paperless process.

The London-based company launched its Web site last month, providing a messaging platform allowing electronic transmission of documents and data between parties involved in international trading, including importers, exporters, transport companies and regulators.

'We aim to dematerialise the world of trade documents, which is really the starting point of electronic commerce,' said chief executive Barry Morse.

In addition, the company has set up an electronic title registry for trade documents such as bill of ladings, which will co-ordinate the change of ownership title of goods in transit. has launched a year-long pilot project involving 120 companies in 20 countries, including some of the world's largest trading firms such as Japan-based Mitsui and Sumitomo, and United States-based commodities trader Cargill.

Some of Hong Kong's largest banks and logistics companies have also taken part in the pilot. is planning to set up an office in Hong Kong by next year to seek partners. It has formed a joint venture in Japan with Sanwa Bank and Mitsui.