Aequo has assisted DAI Global, the implementer of USAID-funded Financial Sector Transformation Project, in conceptualizing nationwide digital infrastructure for electronic invoicing and electronic trade finance in Ukraine, with a particular emphasis on digital transformation of factoring. The proposed user-friendly paperless environment could make a significant difference by connecting practically all businesses, financiers and state-owned entities via the same network and thus making trade finance more accessible to SMEs. Aequo participated in this project in consortium with Prism Global Partners, a London-based advisor with a deep trade finance expertise, and in cooperation with the Ukrainian Alliance for Trade Finance and Factoring, the Ukrainian multi-bank work group that was formed to consider ways to develop trade finance market in Ukraine.
Importance of trade finance cannot be underestimated as it oils the wheels of global and internal trade, which in turn drives economic growth. Just as trade finance cannot exist without the underlying trade, the digitalization of trade finance cannot be successful without concurrent digitalization of commercial documents. Accordingly, digital transformation of trade finance would likely be based around introduction of standardized e-invoices. With this regard, the project team has designed the concept of the IT infrastructure together with the relevant regulatory changes.
Robert Bond, Chief of Party of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project, said: "Ukraine has set digital transformation as a policy priority to unlock Ukraine’s enormous potential for development, with focus on the SME segment. We are pleased to support Ukraine in enhancing SMEs’ access to trade finance and we join in by proposing a design for the reliable digital environment for trade and trade finance in Ukraine."
Yulia Kyrpa, Partner, Head of Banking & Finance at Aequo law firm, noted: "Digitization is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Development of trade finance sector in Ukraine is thus impossible without the supportive digital environment. Indeed, it is the regular reciprocal flow of information between the project team and interviewed stakeholders that contributes to the project success. To fully realize the potential benefits of new technologies, all the concerned stakeholders—financiers, regulators, businesses, and EDI-providers—need to continue to work together in facilitating digital opportunities and driving efficiencies in trade and trade finance processes."
Maryna Dzhulai, Project manager at UATFF, underlined: “Currently, our alliance is challenged by the promotion of the concept of trade factoring. The strong will of the main market players to operate in the ecosystem of the financial sector based on international standards of business was the main driver for us to initiate the study for the concept development of the IT solution for factoring digitalization. Creation of national IT platform for invoices registration will significantly reduce costs, risks and will speed up market development.”