Standard Chartered Bangladesh has recently completed the transmission of the country's first ever fully paperless and digital cross-border Letter of Credit (LC).
The first client to complete a fully paperless application for Letter of Credit issuance is Heidelberg Cement Bangladesh Ltd, said a press release.
The transaction was made possible by a recent amendment to the country's Import Policy Order, advocated for by Standard Chartered.
As per the new order, which was published on 24 April by the Ministry of Commerce, clients can now apply for a Letter of Credit online using their bank's online portal.
There is no requirement to submit a signed physical copy of the LC application.
Naser Ezaz Bijoy chief executive officer, Standard Chartered Bangladesh said, "Digitising trade is a critical lever to accelerate economic development and improve productivity. We would like to thank the Ministry of Commerce, the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, Bangladesh Bank, and everyone involved with the Import Policy Order for this timely revision. The revised policy that now allows online LC application, is a milestone in the digital trade journey of Bangladesh."
Jashim Uddin Chowdhury, chief financial officer, Heidelberg Cement Bangladesh Ltd said, "We were informed by Standard Chartered about the recent change in the Import Policy Order, which now allows clients to apply for Letters of Credit issuance online. We welcomed this change, as it would reduce the time taken for forwarding an application to the Bank and would also reduce the dependency on our signatories being available at the office to physically sign the application. We were excited to apply for the issuance of a Letter of Credit on Standard Chartered's online portal, Straight2Bank."
Stanley Sia, managing director, Co-Head, Asia, Digital Channels & Data Analytics, Standard Chartered, said, "Bangladesh has always been a top priority market for trade digitalisation in the Standard Chartered global footprint, given its immense potential. This revision in the Import Policy Order is a change we have long been waiting for and whole-heartedly welcome. We believe that this amendment in the policy is a big, positive step towards making Bangladesh's trade more globally competitive."