Santander UK’s John Carroll appointed chair of Centre for Digital Trade & Innovation | Disruption Banking

(6 September) – The International Chamber of Commerce UK is pleased to announce that Santander UK Head of International and Transactional Banking John Carroll will lead the Centre for Digital Trade & Innovation as Chair.

John Carroll has worked with the ICC since 2016 as Chair of its Trade and Investment Policy Committee and been a leading champion on digitalisation for ICC for a number of years.

In two decades with the Santander Group, he has developed trade corridors, improving access to international markets for SMEs and promoting international business transactions across Europe, Latin America and beyond. Aided by his expert insights, the C4DTI can secure the UK’s position as a pioneer and leader within the rapidly growing international digital trade network.

The C4DTI, created by ICC United Kingdom as a partnership between the private and public sector, is a global initiative to accelerate the digitalisation of the trade system. Based at Teesside University, the centre is soon to be launching pilot programmes to trial and test the interoperability of electronic commercial trade documents through the supply chain. The aim is to create a scalable model for interoperability pilots in all trade corridors and ensure there is a uniform approach to the adoption of digital standards. The first of these, with Singapore, will be launched in September under the new UK/Singapore Digital Economy Agreement framework.

As the Electronic Trade Documents Bill is expected to be written into law by Parliament in early 2023, the use of digital commercial trade documentation will soon be possible for the first time. With 80% of electronic bills of lading operating under English law worldwide, this will be a gamechanger for digital trade. Until now, UK shipping laws from the 1800s, which are the foundation of much of the world’s international trade laws, specified that paper records had to be exchanged. A minor change in wording to these existing laws will enable commercial documents to be handled in digital format.

Switching to seamlessly transferable digital documents and a responsive data-driven digital infrastructure will make international trade faster, cheaper, and simpler for exporters and importers around the world.

John Carroll said:

I am delighted to be invited to Chair the Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation. This initiative will be the absolute key area of focus in international trade circles over the next decade and the ICC is uniquely well placed to lead and influence on this critical venture.”

About ICC

ICC United Kingdom is the UK representative office of the International Chamber of Commerce, the largest world business organisation representing 45 million companies in 100 countries. ICC’s mission is to promote inclusive, sustainable and green trade. Its rules underpin $25 trillion of global trade.

The ICC Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation (C4DTI) is an ICC United Kingdom-led, global initiative based in Teesside University in the North-East of England. Launched in April 2022 as a public, private partnership, its mission is to accelerate the digitalisation of UK trade and promote the adoption of interoperable legal, standards and rules frameworks.