Closing in on the Holy Grail of World Trade: Using Blockchain to Expand Southeast Asia’s Trade

Date period
31 October 2018

This paper assesses the ways in which blockchain and related digital ledger technologies are enhancing trade performance through improvements in supply chain management, customs procedures, and trade finance in Southeast Asia. The paper also analyses the challenges to the broad-based application of blockchain in the region. From a policy perspective, the author argues that systematic and innovative policies are required in order to scale up the adoption of blockchain and support the achievement of sustainable development priorities. Policy options include the development of interoperable standards, a regional regulatory sandbox to facilitate the testing of new approaches, and a regional blockchain lab to support the development of novel trade-related applications of digital ledger technologies.