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POSTED AT 12:25 PM 12-07-2018

Future of banking is digital information sharing-HSBC head Ajay Sharma

Ajay Sharma

Trade within Asia has exceeded trade with both the US and with Europe in recent years and this trend would continue in the future too, Ajay Sharma, head of trade finance for HSBC’s Asia-Pacific region told a recent forum in Colombo.

An emerging middle class will require more manufacturing; it will create more consumption and will drive significant economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years, Sharma told the 48th Annual General Meeting of the Shippers’ Council in Colombo on Monday.

To address these increases, Sharma advocated for the use of technology to streamline information sharing between trade partners. Commenting on digitization he said that it has helped to revolutionize the shipping sector and urged more companies to streamline information sharing through digitalization.

“This would cut down cost and time expenditures by 33%.”

He cited UN figures, estimating that if all of trade could be digitised, it would reduce the time taken to export by 33%, and cut costs by nearly a third. “When a customer comes to us and provides papers to us, we convert it to a digital format, send it across to the other end. There’s another bank there. They look at the digital information, send it to their customer, who then submits more paper, and you get the story.”

“Today customers, shipping companies, all the freight forwarders and authorities, have all digitised their information. However they do not share information with each other digitally.”

Sarah Chatta