Press Releases

we.trade accelerates digital green trade finance possibilities with EBRD partners QNB ALAHLI, Banca Comercială Română and UniCredit

EBRD partners QNB ALAHLI and Banca Comercială Română team up with UniCredit to test green trade finance transactions on we.trade

DUBLIN, 25 NOVEMBER 2021

we.trade, a digital distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, that offers new ways for banks and their clients to trade goods and services globally, continues their collaboration with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) partners. EBRD has stepped up their support for the digital transition of trade finance by facilitating test transactions between QNB ALAHLI, Banca Comercială Română and UniCredit, an existing we.trade member bank, on the we.trade digital trade platform. The tests will take place through we.trade’s Preview Offering Program, with a special focus on green trade finance. 

The Preview Offering Program enables banks and clients around the world to participate in test transactions with we.trade member banks. Banks also receive extensive operational, information technology (IT), sales and marketing, and legal and compliance consultancy services, tailored to their level of digitalisation.

Green trade financing is the financing of companies that stimulate the ongoing development of a more sustainable economy. With digital trade adoption forecasted, by the WTO, to increase between now and 2030, companies that leverage digital technologies such as DLT platforms strengthen the connection between Global Value Chains (GVCs), reducing time and costs required to trade as goods can move across borders multiple times.  

In December 2020, we.trade took part in the NTT DATA Open Innovation Contest, where participants across the world undertook a series of challenges and was awarded the UN Sustainable Development Goals Award. we.trade’s winning proof of concept detailed how to automate the assessment of green trade finance transactions by validating green-certified companies and products through a variety of ‘green’ databases such as EBRD’s Green Technology Selector.  

“After two banks joining we.trade’s preview environment under EBRD’s patronage a month ago, Banca Comercială Română and QNB ALAHLI decided as well to be part of this promising experiment. This is confirming we.trade’s attractiveness both in terms of technology maturity and business value. we.trade’s board of directors highly praises EBRD’s commitment and quality of dialogue with we.trade, helping build a dynamic and collaborative banking community around we.trade’s platform.” says Agnes Joly, Head of Innovation and Strategy - Global Transaction Banking at Société Générale, Chairperson at we.trade Innovation DAC.

Digitalisation and green finance are two of the EBRD’s priorities under its current five-year strategy. As part of this approach, the Bank is partnering with digital solutions providers and banks to support digitalisation in trade finance in and beyond the regions where it invests. The Bank also explores possible approaches to sustainability screening and verification to scale up the delivery of green trade finance across its regions.

The EBRD is also working with the International Chamber of Commerce Banking Commission and the International Trade and Forfaiting Association to advance the adoption of legal frameworks to enable digital trade and trade finance.

Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions, commented: “We are pleased to support QNB ALAHLI and Banca Comercială Română in the Preview Offering Program on we.trade and to facilitate their test transactions with UniCredit. Green trade finance is an essential part of green financing, and this makes it all the more important – and urgent – to lift it to a new level with the introduction of new technology. Digitalisation will make trade processes easier, faster and more effective. This will allow our partners to know their markets even better and provide state-of-the-art solutions to address the urgent need for green products and services.”

Financial institutions, such as banks, are seeing increased benefits from coopetition and collaboration with each other, and through digitalisation initiatives such as we.trade’s Preview Offering Program it facilitates a more cohesive approach on supporting not only digital transformation within but also supporting their clients in digital transformation. 

Mohamed Bedeir, QNB ALAHLI’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Digital trade can play one of the most vital roles in the global economic recovery post COVID-19. At QNB ALAHLI, we believe in strategically addressing new and sustainable business models that embrace emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence that are expected to enhance the trade landscape in the very near future, and significantly improving customers’ experience. It gives us a great pleasure to cooperate with EBRD & we.trade in this interesting project which meets our mutual objectives and supports the transition towards a greener economy.”

Bogdan Speteanu, Executive Director, Corporate Products at Banca Comercială Română, commented: “Trade finance is in a transformative period that was accelerated by the pandemic. Within this context, we.trade, and its Preview Offering Program supported by the EBRD, is a great initiative and can become a new pillar in this development. The digital transition needs to become the mantra of the entire trade ecosystem, which includes banks, corporates, innovators and trade bodies, in order to encourage green financing. At Banca Comercială Română, we have technology and education at the core of our vision and we believe that this is an important step in preparing the future of trade finance.”

Francesca Nenci, Global Head, Trade Finance at UniCredit, said: “Clients are increasingly asking to use digital platforms to improve their internal processes. Trade finance digitalisation is the only possible choice to enhance the sustainability of this business for our clients. We are therefore pleased to join the EBRD in its effort to support digital transition in trade finance and, specifically, in experimenting with innovative digital solutions, such as we.trade.

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For further information
Marketing Department, Alan Fitzsimons, we.trade Tel: +353 87 6666800 or [email protected]
Press Office, EBRD Tel: +44 207 338 7805 or email [email protected] 

About we.trade
we.trade Innovation DAC (we.trade) is a joint-venture company owned by 12 banks, technology provider IBM and CRIF, a global commercial credit and business information provider. The company was started with nine banks in January 2017 under the project name, Digital Trade Chain, and was officially renamed as we.trade in October 2017. we.trade has developed a digital trade platform based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric and runs on the IBM Blockchain Platform. The we.trade digital platform delivers reliability, simplicity, and security to global trade transactions across trade finance and logistics. Clients can register for we.trade via an existing we.trade member bank. 

About EBRDs Trade Facilitation Programme
QNB ALAHLI, Banca Comercială Română and UniCredit are participants in the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), launched in 1999 to promote foreign trade to, from and among the economies in which the EBRD operates. Through the programme, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors. The TFP currently includes more than 100 partner banks in 30 economies where the EBRD invests and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.