Event Press Release

Minister S Iswaran to open Future Trade Forum in Singapore

Forum convenes policy, industry and technology leaders to accelerate the digitalisation of global trade. 

SINGAPORE, 27 March 2023 – Singapore Minister for Trade Relations and Transport, S Iswaran headlines the ICC Future Trade Forum (FTF), organized by the International Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Standards Initiative (ICC DSI), taking place in Singapore March 29 and 30.  The Forum brings together over 300 leaders from business, finance, technology and government to engage, collaborate and enable the digital trade ecosystem.   

Participants from Government Include: World Customs Organization Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya; World Trade Organization Deputy Secretary General Anabel Gonzalez; New Zealand High Commissioner Gabrielle Rush; Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Executive Director, APEC; and Yu Jianlong, Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade; and Enterprise Singapore Chairman, Peter Ong.  The Forum will hear special messages from Deputy Secretary General of the Financial Stability Board Rupert Thorne, and Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Satvinder Singh..

Business participants include: Renaud de Barbuat, President and Chief Executive Officer, GS1;  Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International; Pradyumna Agrawal, Managing Director (Blockchain), Temasek; Kobsak Duangdee, Secretary-General, Thai Bankers Association; Ivy Tse, CEO and Co-Founder, Freight Amigo; Bertrand Chen, CEO, Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN); Zaiyue Xu, CEO, China International Payment Service Corp (CIPS); and Stephan Wolf, CEO, Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF).

The two-day Forum will host the launch of the ICC DSI’s first set recommendations on the digitalization of seven key trade documents, covering commercial invoice, e Bill of lading, among others — as well as the DSI’s recommendation on technology principles for a trusted, interoperable digital trade ecosystem. The DSI, together with partners Milken Institute and Asia Global Institute, will also launch the alpha version of its Global Trade Modernization Index.

The Forum features a number of collaborations.  The Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) will co-organize a workshop featuring its TradeTrust framework for digital trade governance.  The London-based World Trade Board will launch its roadmap for Financial Inclusion in Trade; and the Global Shipping Business Network will also make a major partnership announcement at the event.

John W.H. Denton AO, ICC Secretary General, said: “We are pleased to be holding this event at a pivotal moment in the transition towards digital trade; with the release of our first set of digital trade standards and recommendations, together with our white paper on technologies for trust in trade, we are aiming to accelerate this process. We are particularly heartened to see the strong support from the trade, technology and finance communities as they join hands in partnership with us.”

Geoffrey Yeo, Assistant CEO, Enterprise Singapore, added, “We are glad to have the inaugural ICC Future Trade Forum in Singapore to advance discussions in trade digitalisation and standardisation. As a forward-looking global trade hub, Singapore supports the efforts in strengthening the global trade eco-system through digitalisation, and sets an example with projects such as the Singapore Trade Data Exchange and electronic Bills of Lading pilots under the TradeTrust framework. We look forward to fruitful discussions at the forum and welcome collaborations with like-minded countries, regions and stakeholders to advance an enriching and resilient global trade eco-system.”

Steven Beck, head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance for the Asian Development Bank and also a Governance Board member of DSI, added: “Digitalizing global trade is key to addressing some of the key challenges in the world today, including bridging the trade finance gap, empowering SMEs and enabling a more efficient, resilient global supply chain. We are pleased to support DSI in the hard work of digital standards alignment and adoption.”

The event opens from 29 to 30 March 2023, in-person at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, and video-on-demand will be available through an online platform.

Please visit www.futuretradeforum.org for more information on the event.


Pre-Event Press Release

Inaugural ICC Future Trade Forum to convene leaders from business, policy and technology to accelerate progress on trade and supply chain digitalisation  

SINGAPORE, 2 February 2023 – Presented by the Digital Standards Initiative (DSI) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Future Trade Forum features a global conference, technology showcase, programme launches and networking opportunities to empower and activate the supply chain, financial, and trade communities around the opportunities posed by digitalisation. 

Scheduled for 29 to 30 March 2023, the two-day event offers both birds-eye and ground-level views of the evolving trade landscape across key sectors such as shipping and logistics, finance, consumer industries, and startup and SME sectors.   

With our advisory networks, industry leaders and multilateral partners in attendance, the Forum will also feature a number of product and program launches including DSI’s first set of digital trade standards covering eight key trade and supply chain documents; and a technology vision for the future digital trade landscape and a blueprint for inclusive trade by the London-based World Trade Board. A workshop focusing on the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) TradeTrust blockchain based framework, is also on the agenda.   

“A global, multistakeholder approach involving both public and private sector participants is critical to ensure that trade digitalisation becomes a reality in the near future and benefits everyone. Efforts such as the DSI, which are inclusive and ambitious, are critical to expanding the positive impact of global trade.” said Ms Anabel Gonzalez, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization, who is one of the keynote speakers at the Forum.  

Ms Pamela Mar, Managing Director, ICC DSI added, “We look forward to the Forum and the launches of our first two products –digital trade standards which will help drive efficiency and collaboration across global supply chains, as well as technology principles for digital trade.  But we also recognize the good work of our partners and collaborators by offering the Forum as a neutral platform to share the fruits of their work.  And of course, we are delighted to recognise the role Singapore plays in the digital trade space, with Minister S Iswaran, Minister of Trade Relations and Minister for Transport gracing the inaugural event”.  

Apart from Ms Gonzalez, other renowned speakers from the public and private sectors, industry and academia include: 

  • Mr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of World Customs Organization 
  • Mr Renaud de Barbuat, President and Chief Executive Officer, GS1 
  • Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Executive Director, APEC Secretariat 
  • Ms Angela Robinson, Australian Deputy Higher Commissioner to Singapore 
  • Mr Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary General, ASEAN Economic Community 
  • Mr Stephan Wolf, Chief Executive Officer, Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) 
  • Tan Sri Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong 
  • Mr Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International 
  • and many more 


The event will be held from 29 to 30 March 2023, in-person at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, and video-on-demand will be available through an online platform.  

Registration is now open, and visitors can visit www.futuretradeforum.org to register or for more information.