Two feasibility studies on blockchain technology have been launched by Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce.
The studies, which will focus on exploring the use of blockchain technology in trade finance and the registration of intellectual property, are expected to be completed in February 2019, per the Bangkok Post.
According to Pimchanok Vonkorpon, the director of Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) which falls under the commerce ministry, the project has received support from the British Embassy.
With regards to trade financing, Pimchanok pointed out that blockchain technology will assist in enhancing transparency, reducing the cost of doing business and shortening the whole process. And as pertains to intellectual property blockchain will assist in the management of IP and company registration as well as traceability. In this regard, a wide variety of topics will be covered including commercialization opportunities of intellectual property on the blockchain, use of smart contracts, intellectual property registration and protections offered.
Additionally, the feasibility study will involve conducting a review of intellectual property law, stakeholder interviews and a review of the intellectual property management process.
Initially, Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office intend to roll out blockchain projects on a small scale.
Besides the use of blockchain in trade finance and intellectual property, the TPSO is also working on using the technology in processing organic rice exports with a view of eliminating delays and cutting costs. Currently, the time taken to process organic rice exports from the Southeast Asian country is between 15-20 days with a lot of bureaucracy involved along the way that adds expenses.
But with blockchain technology the TPSO envisages shortening the processing period besides enhancing transparency and boosting confidence and trust in the supply chain, thus benefiting the various stakeholders.
“Using blockchain for the process could reduce processing time to less than three days, improving transparency and increasing confidence and trust for exporters and foreign importers, benefiting Thai farmers,” Pimchanok said.
The feasibility study being conducted by the Trade Policy and Strategy Office comes as no surprise since the Southeast Asian country has had a fairly progressive stance towards blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as evidenced by various developments in the last couple of months.
In July, for instance, the Bank of Thailand revealed that it was reviewing blockchain applications meant for use in making cross-border payments, supply-chain financing and document authentication. During the same month, the Thai Bond Market Association disclosed that it was working on a blockchain-based token which will enable the instant clearing and settlement of corporate bonds.
Additionally, the Bank of Thailand is working on a central bank digital currency which is set to be used in enabling domestic funds transfers, as reported by CCN two months ago.
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