unctad.org | Block-chain for Trade Facilitation
Block-chain for Trade Facilitation
20 April 2018
11:30 - 13:00, Room XXVI
Geneva, Switzerland

Key Issues


Block-chain is an important technological development, which allows the creation of "original" electronic documents that cannot be copied and whose origin can be guaranteed - without using a trusted third party. It is a transformative technology. Until now, it has been mainly associated with cryptocurrencies (electronic money based on Block-chain technology) but it has also been piloted and implemented in other sectors including in supply-chain management, land registration and the delivery of food aid. It promises great potential for trade facilitation and, in particular, for the possibility of replacing original paper documents with “original” electronic documents. 

Effective trade facilitation signifies reliability and security of trade transactions. Block-chain may be able to offer a high level of confidence in these areas to both traders and regulators. But how far is this technology from being implemented and how realistic are the claims that have been made? And if Block-chain technology is as secure and “immutable” as claimed – why do we continue to read stories about hackers stealing millions of dollars/euros worth of cryptocurrencies?


The objective of this session is to develop a collective understanding on the potential of Block-chain technology for supporting trade facilitation. The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has been analyzing the use of Block-chain technology for trade facilitation measures and how UN/CEFACT standards might be used in a Block-chain context. The private sector and a range of industry experts have been associated with this work. In this session, UN/CEFACT as well as industry experts will share their experiences and priorities for utilizing Block-chain technology in trade facilitation. Speakers will talk about the use of Block-chain in transportation (including a seaport), finance, supply chains, agriculture, energy and other sectors.


Moderator: Mr. Lance Thompson, UN/CEFACT Unit, Trade Facilitation Section, UNECE

Video presentation on block-chain


Ms. Ivonne Higuero, Director, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, UNECE

Ms. Virginia Cram-Martos, CEO, Triangularity, UN/CEFACT Domain Coordinator for Trade Procedures, UN/CEFACT white paper on block-chain and trade facilitation
Mr. Enrico Camerinelli, Senior Analyst, Aite Group, Italy, Block-chain in the Supply Chain – use cases 
Mr. Giovanni Pio, Head, Global Change Management, World Food Programme, How can Block-chain help to end hunger?
Mr. Jorge Alvarado, Manager – Consulting & Solutions, Swisscom Blockchain, Switzerland, Block-chain solutions for the 3Ds of the energy industry 
Mr. Steven Capell, CEO, GoSource Australia, Small business invoice financing innovation using block-chain 


Co-organized with:United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

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