Chinese e-commerce group ZALL Smart Commerce is set to increase its investments in the Commodities Intelligence Centre (CIC) – its joint venture with the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Global eTrade Services (GeTS).

Established in 2018, CIC leverages on blockchain technology to facilitate e-trading of physical commodities. 

It is available in over a dozen countries, allowing companies to reduce transaction costs and optimise the efficiency of their supply chains across cross-border trading, financing, logistics, compliance and risk management.

“CIC offers opportunities for businesses reach of their supply chains. In doing so, we are building business resilience against current and future pandemics” says Peter Yu, CEO of CIC.

With a sales revenue of US$1 billion ($1.36 billion) in the first of the year – more than the total revenue for 2019 – Yu has reason to believe that the platform can withstand the test of a global pandemic.

ZALL’s latest move is part of its plans to expand its operations and investments in its businesses in Singapore, the group announced on September 23.

The company is among the nine shortlisted bidders vying of the three wholesale digital banking licenses to be awarded in Singapore by the end of the year.

ZALL hopes to leverage on this license, should it receive it, to bridge the funding gap and support the expansion of local SMEs and micro-SMEs into Asia.

In line with this, it will be investing into technology to facilitate freer trade between Singapore-based small and medium enterprises and the ASEAN region. 

This follows the cross-border growth opportunities particularly between ASEAN and China that have become more pronounced during the pandemic.

“Today, most of the trading and transactions have to be done online, creating an urgency for traditional businesses to leverage on digital platforms and digitally transform as soon as possible in order to survive,” Yan Zhi, ZALL’s chairman explains.