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Can data provide the trust to rewrite the terms of trade?

Interesting article by EY and a key topic as part of GTDW China Trade Development Week, Shanghai this June where we will explore 'Interoperability & Data Harmonisation - How Can We Achieve Seamless Digitisation of Global Trade?'

For the global economy to prosper, we need trade to flow easily. How can we put trust back into a breaking system?


The global economy prospers when trade flows easily. But tariff wars, protectionist policies and regulatory uncertainty have pushed global trade into crisis. Established business models and relationships are breaking down. Systemic problems that have slowed the flow of trade for decades are making the situation worse, and it is harder for organizations to respond. We believe it’s time for trade to transform.


Better data and smarter technologies have revolutionized just about every corner of organizational life, yet when it comes to global trade, that’s not the case. From finance, to shipping to logistics, too much still depends on remarkably primitive processes despite the huge flows of money and goods involved.


Sometimes that's because the organization’s own systems are not sufficiently automated. Other times it's because they’re participating in a network of trade relationships where key players have not invested in better technology.


As a consequence, organizations are forced to work with data around trade that is often incomplete and unreliable. It comes from multiple sources and is frequently contradictory, or plain wrong. Mistakes occur. Governments don’t collect the right amount of tax. Companies don't take full advantage of free-trade agreements that are meant to benefit them and encourage commerce.


When data can't be trusted, it can't be used to drive better business decisions. This is painfully frustrating for leaders. They want to set a strategic direction for their organization, but they are too often forced into actions that are rushed and tactical because they don’t have a comprehensive and reliable view of what’s really going on. And this lack of trust spreads like a virus. It creates friction, cost and risk across connected trade networks. It discourages collaboration and innovation. It creates acute economic uncertainty. And it slows progress toward better ways of working.


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