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The European Parliament (EP) has called for measures to boost blockchain adoption in trade and business across the region.
The legislative body adopted a resolution on Thursday, dubbed “Blockchain: a forward-looking trade policy,” setting out how the nascent technology could improve EU trade policies, including free trade and mutual recognition agreements.
Blockchain could improve supply chain transparency, streamline trade processes, reduce costs and corruption, detect tax evasion and improve the security of data, the EP said. Cybersecurity, it added, remains a key challenge, however.
The resolution went on to explain that, despite previous trade successes, EU free trade agreements still remain underutilized. On an average, only 67 percent of exporters and 90 percent of importers make use of the preferential tariffs in the EU and its partner nations.
Using blockchain tech, traders could upload all their documents in one place, including those related to compliance, to benefit from the preferential tariffs, it said. The tech could also help authorities to automatically get information from these parties and improve verification and trade processes.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises could also benefit from blockchain, the EP says, as it would allow better communication between parties, secure payments and simplify business through the use of smart contracts.
The institution stressed the need to develop “global interoperability standards” to facilitate transactions across blockchains for smoother supply chain processes.
It further called on the European Commission to track ongoing global supply chain pilot projects and draft rules for blockchain’s applicability to international trade, as well as to set up an advisory committee on blockchain within the Directorate General for Trade, among other requests.
Lastly, the European Parliament reminded the commission that:
“The EU has an opportunity to become a leading actor in the field of blockchain and international trade, and that it should be an influential actor in shaping its development globally, together with international partners.”
The resolution marks the latest positive step toward blockchain adoption in the EU region. Earlier this month, seven southern European states – France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain – signed a joint declaration to promote the use of blockchain in order to transform their economies.
EU parliament image via Shutterstock