Middle East businesses urged to adopt paperless document transfer

Published August 25th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Businesses in the Middle East need to adopt more advanced solutions to integrate physical and financial supply chains if they are to stay ahead in the global marketplace, which has been transformed beyond recognition with the predominance of Information Technology (IT) and the Internet, said Hussein Rifai, CEO of Bolero Middle East & North Africa. 


“Unless these companies move to dedicated online document transfer platforms, they will not only lose money but also find themselves part of a business community that refuses to shake off traditional ideas of doing business,” added Rifai. 


Bolero Middle East and North Africa is a joint venture between Eastern Networks, the Dubai-based IT solution developer and integrator, and Bolero International, the global company that provides secure electronic document transfer systems for global trade. 


“A supply chain is a network of facilities and distribution options that performs the functions of procurement of materials, transformation of these materials into intermediate and finished products and the distribution of these finished products to customers,” stated Rifai. 


“To stay competitive, enlightened companies have strived to achieve greater coordination and collaboration among supply chain partners in an approach called supply chain integration. Information technology and the Internet play a key role in furthering the goals of this integration,” said Rifai. 


Two supply chains exist in virtually all forms of commerce—the physical supply chain and the financial supply chain. Financial products and information are used throughout the physical transaction process. Emerging financial products such as online trade financing and letters of credit are helping companies speed up the process and reduce the cost of facilitating international trade, according to a company press release. 


Traditionally, international trade has learnt to live with financial, logistic and time inadequacies, costing the business world hundreds of billions of dollars every year. According to a United Nations study, adoption of online document transfer procedures will save the international trading community an estimated $620 billion per year, over 10 percent of the $6,000 billion value of world trade. 


Bolero.net’s platform enables secure electronic exchange of documents. Founded in 1998, Bolero.net is a global initiative to create a secure, open system to exchange trading documents electronically. A key benefit of Bolero.net is its codification of a standard legal framework, accepted by all trading parties, effective across 192 countries. 


Bolero.net is not a payment system, but a platform for a shared, open system i.e. one that works on all computer systems, by which businesses can exchange legal trade documents and data via the Internet. It acts as a neutral party to ensure secure delivery and receipt of information and provides a legal structure that binds all parties.  


Bolero has created a legal framework which companies have to agree to before they can join. Once they are connected, all the necessary paperwork for an international trade deal can pass through the bolero.net system, which includes digital signatures, an authentication and non-repudiation mechanism which confirms who has sent and received certain documents during the transaction. 


Bolero MENA was launched in May 2002 to boost electronic trade in 21 countries in the region, by offering the bolero.net System from Bolero International, the global company that provides a secure electronic document transfer for global trade. Bolero MENA is based at the Dubai Internet City with four regional offices in Cairo, Riyadh, Amman and Istanbul.  


Bolero International Ltd was set up in 1998. Over the past two years, over 500 companies and industry organizations around the world have worked together to review the functional and legal capabilities of the Bolero service. 


bolero.net’s members include four of Japan’s largest trading houses, Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsui and Nissho Iwai, along with German mail order company Otto Versand, Japanese cargo operator ‘K’ Line and Cargill, the US commodities trading organization. Banks that have signed up with bolero.net include ABN Amro, Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, BNP Paribas, Chase Manhattan, Citibank, Commerzbank, Dai-ichi Kangyo Bank, DBS, Fuji Bank, HSBC, National Westminster Bank, OCBC, Sakura Bank, Sanwa Bank and Société Générale. — (menareport.com) 

© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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