IBM launches blockchain initiative in Dubai

In this July 16, 2013 file photo, an IBM logo is displayed in Berlin, Vt. (AP)
Updated 08 February 2017
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IBM launches blockchain initiative in Dubai

JEDDAH: IBM announced on Tuesday a blockchain initiative with Dubai Customs, Dubai Trade, advancing Dubai government’s blockchain strategy.
IBM is collaborating with Dubai Customs, Dubai Trade and its IT provider DUTECH, to explore the use of blockchain for a trade finance and logistics solution for the import and re-export process of goods in and out of Dubai.
Using Hyperledger Fabric and IBM Cloud, the blockchain solution transmits shipment data allowing key stakeholders to receive real-time information about the state of goods and the status of shipments.
IBM is also working with du, Emirates NBD Bank, Banco Santander and Aramex.
This trade finance and logistics blockchain-based solution aims to replace paper-based contracts with smart contracts, leverages Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for device-reported data to update or validate smart contracts and integrates all the key trade process stakeholders from the ordering stage, in which the importer obtains a letter of credit from their bank, through the intermediary stages of freight and shipping and ending with customs and payment.
In February 2016, the Dubai government declared its interest to position itself as a blockchain hub. As part of these efforts, the Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation established the “Global Blockchain Council” in which IBM is a member. Dubai plans to execute all its transactions on a blockchain by 2020, as a part of its “Dubai Blockchain Strategy.”
A recent blockchain study, “Building Trust in Governments,” by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), found that several governmental organizations are embracing blockchain technology to promote more extensive collaboration. Nine out of 10 government organizations plan to invest in blockchain for use in financial transaction management, asset management, contract management and regulatory compliance by 2018. And seven out of 10 government executives predict blockchain will significantly disrupt the area of contract management, which is often at the intersection of the public and private sector.
“We are excited to participate in the ecosystem on streamlining the trade finance process using the futuristic Blockchain technology, which has the potential of transforming the way we conduct business between heterogeneous entities,” said Ali Sajwani, group chief information officer, Emirates NBD Group.
In the Middle East and Africa, nine out of 10 government executives surveyed see contract management as the greatest potential new business model. By using blockchains for contract management, issues such as the failure of any party to meet a deadline or complete a task, for example, could be more immediately visible.
Transparency derived from contract management on blockchains could improve performance management.
Governments will be able to use blockchains to explore new business models for providing services to citizens beyond the limits of current technology. These models can be used to improve the efficiencies of current services, while expanding the ability to provide new services.
“IBM believes that blockchain will do for transactions what the Internet did for information. Dubai is at the forefront of adopting this transformative technology as government agencies and businesses realize the need to have a shared secured ledger that establishes accountability and transparency while streamlining business processes,” said Amr Refaat, general manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan.


Apple’s Cook to China: keep opening for sake of global economy

Updated 23 March 2019
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Apple’s Cook to China: keep opening for sake of global economy

  • Cook’s comments come as Apple weathers sinking sales in China
  • Despite official pledges and repeated assurances that China would continue to open its markets

BEIJING: Apple chief executive Tim Cook nudged China on Saturday to open up and said the future would depend on global collaboration, as the United States and China remained locked in a bitter trade dispute.
“We encourage China to continue to open up, we see that as essential, not only for China to reach its full potential, but for the global economy to thrive,” Cook said at a China Development Forum in Beijing.
Despite official pledges and repeated assurances that China would continue to open its markets, some analysts worry that its reform project has slowed or even stalled under President Xi Jinping, who has sought greater control over the economy and a bigger role for state-owned firms at the expense of the private sector.
Cook’s comments come as Apple weathers sinking sales in China because of a contracting smartphone market, increasing pressure from Chinese rivals, and slowing upgrade cycles. The company reported a revenue drop of 26 percent in the greater China region during the quarter ending in December.
Before those results came out, in a January letter to investors, Cook blamed the company’s poor China performance on trade tension between the United States and China, suggesting that pressure on the economy was hurting sales in China.