Saudi Arabia’s customs authorities have successfully completed a pilot project linking IBM and Maersk’s TradeLens blockchain platform to its own cross-border trading platform FASAH. A press release sent out by Saudi Arabia’s customs authorities on December 26 disclosed the conclusion and findings of this pilot project.
IBM and Maersk jointly created the TradeLens blockchain platform in the month of August, the previous year. At the time of its launch, there were close to 100 entities who had expressed interest in participating in the pilot scheme. The TradeLens blockchain platform was developed by IBM and Maersk with the purpose of being able to function as the backbone for the digital supply chains. Whereas, for Saudi Arabia, the pilot scheme was undertaken as a part of the authorities’ initiative to improve the nation’s economy under their Vision 2030 plan.
“The pilot comes in line with our strategy that aims to facilitate trade and enhance security levels while working to establish the kingdom as one of the world’s premier logistics hubs,” commented Ahmed Alhakbani, Saudi Customs governor in the release. He further added, “The recent pilot to link FASAH to the TradeLens platform clearly illustrates that we are on the right track.”
This development in Riyadh is in line with the country’s other spate of activities aimed at incorporating blockchain machinery at the state level. These activities undertaken in recent months are being seen as a move to keep Saudi Arabia at par with its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A partnership was recently launched in December in order to foster a series of inter-bank blockchain devices aimed specifically for Islamic investments. Also, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, only a while ago, had declared its decision to join the UAE for the creation of a collaborative cryptocurrency which would be deployed for transactions between banks.
These announcements followed the declaration by Canada’s Border Agency in October to test TradeLens for streamlining its own custom procedures and similar revelations by Spain’s Port Authority of Valencia.