International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) conducts first transaction with partners on Bolero trade finance platform

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The transaction concerned a cotton shipment originating from Burkina Faso, shipped by CMA CGM Group from the Port of Lomé in Togo

LONDON, United Kingdom: A Cash Against Documents transaction orchestrated by Saudi-based ITFC was successfully completed between SOFITEX and Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), using an electronic bill of lading issued by the CMA CGM Group , a world leader in shipping and logistics, through Bolero’s digital trade finance platform for the first time.

The transaction concerned a cotton shipment originating from Burkina Faso, shipped by CMA CGM Group from the Port of Lomé in Togo.

Bolero’s cutting-edge platform executed the encrypted exchange of documents rapidly and smoothly, accelerating a process that would usually take weeks as parties exchanged physical documentation across Burkina Faso, Togo, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.

Abou Jallow, General Manager of Operations at ITFC said “With a mandate to advance trade across the developing world, ITFC is committed to working closely with our partners in member countries to capitalise on the digitalization of global trade. Facilitating this online trade transaction for our partners in Burkina Faso marks a crucial milestone in the digitalization of trade in Africa, and we can expect to see improved efficiency across the entire trade cycle. By embracing technology through platforms such as Bolero’s, we can ensure greater visibility, transparency, accountability, and control in the trade of strategic commodities such as cotton.”

“Bolero’s platform is designed to enable trading partners to collaborate securely and efficiently, removing the traditional hurdles of international trade while remaining fully compliant with international standards and regulations,” said Jacco DeJong, Global Sales Manager at Bolero.

Raymond added; “With its enhanced user experience, the platform delivers greater functionality and seamless integration with banks and other third-party systems, providing end-to-end visibility to corporate clients and banks.”

This transaction is a prime example of the development of digital business in Africa, thanks to collaboration amongst the bank, exporter, trader and carrier.

“By digitizing documentation exchanges and payment processes, Bolero’s platform accelerates trade transactions and demonstrates the potential to drive efficiency in trade operations for the benefit of all trade participants, by combining technology with collaboration,” said Lise Théophile, Middle Office Execution Manager for LDC’s Cotton Platform.  

“This is an important step for the maritime industry. Digitalization is a core pillar of CMA CGM strategy. We have been following up on developments and collaborated with BOLERO for years. We were looking forward to this important step. E-BLs facilitate documentation flow between carriers, shippers and banks. With the global sanitary situation, it has become obvious that we must speed up the transition to electronic transmission of international sales documentation. CMA CGM E-Commerce teams have prepared for the challenge and we are ready to develop E-BLs with our global customers.”, said Marc Bourdon, Senior Vice President commercial and agencies network of the CMA CGM Group.

Lassana Kargougou, Sales Director at SOFITEX added “Our first digital shipping consignment via Bolero’s platform was a real success. Eliminating documentary collection delays, which can take up to 21 days, to being able to retain and access all shipping documents in one place without the risk of misplacing them, has increased both efficiency and confidence across the entire process. We are now happy to extend the use of the platform to other partners to digitize the Cash-Against-Documents process related to the sale of cotton fiber”.

About Bolero International:
Established in 1998 by SWIFT and the global logistics and insurance industry, Bolero International has built a strong reputation and market leadership position in driving the digitisation of global trade.

Bolero delivers secure, end-to-end, cloud-based services across the entire global supply chain. By digitising trade processes and transactions, providing greater visibility, transparency and control, Bolero is making trade safer, smarter and faster.

About the International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided US$55 billion of financing to OIC member countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for these member countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC member countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in member countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

About Louis Dreyfus Company:
Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. The company leverages its global reach and extensive asset network to serve customers and consumers around the world, delivering the right products to the right location, at the right time – safely, responsibly and reliably. Its activities span the entire value chain from farm to fork, across a broad range of business lines (platforms). Since 1851, its portfolio has grown to include Grains & Oilseeds, Coffee, Cotton, Juice, Rice, Sugar, Freight and Global Markets. The company helps to feed and clothe some 500 million people every year by originating, processing and transporting approximately 80 million tons of products. Structured as a matrix organization of six geographical regions and eight platforms, Louis Dreyfus Company is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 18,000 people globally.

About CMA CGM:
Led by Rodolphe Saadé, the CMA CGM Group is a world leader in shipping and logistics.

Its 489 vessels serve more than 420 ports on five continents around the world and carried nearly 22 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2019. With CEVA Logistics, a world leader in logistics services, CMA CGM handles more than 500,000 tons of airfreight and 1.9 million tons of inland freight every year.

CMA CGM is constantly innovating to offer customers new maritime, inland and logistics solutions.

Present on every continent and in 160 countries through its network of 755 offices and 750 warehouses, the Group employs 110,000 people worldwide, of which 2,400 in Marseille where its head office is located.

About SOFITEX:
SOFITEX is a major player in the cotton industry based in Burkina Faso. As Burkina’s first agricultural export product, cotton is truly one of the main levers of socio-economic development. SOFITEX employs around 5,000 workers and its activity covers:

  • Purchase, transport and ginning of seed cotton
  • Marketing of fiber and seed
  • Supply of farmers with agricultural inputs
  • Aid for the development of cotton and associated crops through technical support, services and participation in financing measures necessary for research and development.
  • Direct promotion of textile fibers.