Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has announced the development of Dubai Blink, the world’s first B2B smart commerce platform.
It will use artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and virtual business licences, allowing companies from around the world to connect and trade via Dubai.
As one of Dubai 10X initiatives, Dubai Blink was presented to Dubai Free Zones Council, chaired by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
He said Dubai Blink will transform the future of global supply chains by creating a new trade platform for global free zone companies.
Sheikh Ahmed added: "The Dubai Blink project will be one of the most innovative models for the future of global supply chains and e-commerce across the free zones. It will help boost trade for companies operating in Dubai's free zones, which have chosen the emirate as a platform for growth and prosperity.
"We have directed the free zones to form a joint team to unite our efforts and expertise to make Dubai Blink a success and help achieve the aims of the Dubai 10X initiative – to make Dubai 10 years ahead of its time.
"The work that is being done between the free zones and government agencies will help create a new model for smart commerce in the international industry as well an attractive future for foreign investments within the free zones of Dubai.”
The project offers a new form of e-commerce known as smart commerce, a statement said.
It added that the initiative will enable both global companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to set up digital businesses in Dubai free zones without the need to be physically there.
The announcement comes in support of Dubai and the UAE’s vision to create smarter digital economies driven by innovation and technology. It is expected that the value of global B2B e-commerce will reach $7.7 trillion in 2017.
The Free Zone Council accepted DAFZA’s proposal to form a joint team from free zones to work with government entities in an integrated and interactive way on the project.
Dubai Blink is expected to speed up trade in free zones by providing comprehensive solutions for companies to search for services and products, negotiate, and make purchases online via a unified platform using blockchain smart contracts and machine learning.
The first issue it will help solve is around identification. Currently, there are lengthy supplier identification and validation processes. AI algorithms will provide researchers tailored results in a fractional time.
The second challenge it will solve is around transactions. International trade barriers, regulations and transaction fees add unnecessary layers of complication to B2B commerce. The convergence of free zone setups, AI, and blockchain, will radically cut cross-border transaction costs and time.
Dubai Blink will also provide global companies with the opportunity to gain a virtual business licence which will be known as a Cloud trading licence. This will enable them to explore the commercial opportunities offered by Dubai without the need for an actual presence on the ground, allowing companies to sample and test the regional market and explore the opportunities provided in Dubai.
DAFZA director general, Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni said: “Dubai Blink will be a gateway to leverage free zone assets, network, and connect with trusted providers of product or services to evolve your business. It will be an integrated platform that will allow businesses to manage supply chains and transactions, underwritten by the speed, truth, and reliability of blockchain smart contracts.”
The project will be implemented within the next two years.
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