In search for greater partnership and collaboration, the Japanese government and about 20 of the country’s major companies will introduce a high-tech system to comprehensively manage trade transaction information with members of the ASEAN bloc, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

Information on shipments, remittances, insurance and other issues that had been individually exchanged on paper will be digitised, which will streamline export and import procedures. The new system also is expected to help strengthen supply chains for parts such as industrial goods.

Sources have said a demonstration experiment of the system will be conducted in Vietnam as soon as this autumn, and eventually expanded to cover the entire ASEAN region. About 20 large private companies will participate in the project, including Mitsubishi Corp, NYK Line, banks that handle international finance deals, and nonlife insurance companies.

The new system will use blockchain technology, which offers better security by storing and managing transaction data across a network of computers. In addition to digitising what has so far been paper-based information, the system will standardise shipping, customs clearance and other transaction records that companies have managed individually.

Cutting the work involved in confirming documents and other tasks could slash the time taken for export and import procedures by about 40 per cent, the sources said.

The ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus has created disruptions in supply chains for medical goods and various industrial products such as vehicle parts.

The new system uses artificial intelligence to manage stored data on trade transactions across various industries, which aims to quickly detect and help swiftly resolve problems that emerge in these supply chains.

Japan has made working closely with Southeast Asia and India part of its growth strategy as it seeks to stand up to the Sino-US battle for high-tech supremacy.

Source: The Phnom Penh Post

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