The Thailand Ministry of Commerce in conjunction with the British Embassy in Thailand is conducting feasibility studies on the application of blockchain technology in the intellectual property registration and protection, supply chain in the agriculture industry as well as in trade finance.
The director of Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) Pimchanok Vonkorpon said that the feasibility had been commissioned in the aim of finding out whether decentralized solutions can boost the country’s competitiveness and credibility, especially in relation to small business.
When it comes to trade financing, the ministry believes that blockchain technology can increase transparency while also reducing the cost of doing business. At the same time applying blockchain to the trade financing process will significantly cut on the time used to complete a process.
As regards to intellectual property registration and protection, the ministry envisages applying the technology in IP management, company registration, and traceability. The IP study will cover the application of blockchain in the commercialization of intellectual property and the use of smart contracts to protect copyright. The ministry intends to conduct stakeholder interviews, have a critical analysis of the IP legal framework and review the entire IP management process.
Finally, the TPSO is looking into ways of applying blockchain in the agriculture industry in particular how to implement sandboxes in rice export management. According to farmers who were interviewed by the Bangkok Post, it takes between two and three weeks to clear exports and it involves at least seven government agencies who increase the cost of processing the exports further.
TPSO predicts that applying blockchain technology in this industry will reduce the process duration from the three weeks to about three days. It will also reduce the costs significantly as the technology will bypass the redundant agencies while also increasing the transparency in the food chain process. In Vonkorpon’s words, he said,
“Using blockchain for the process could reduce processing time to less than three days, improving transparency and increasing confidence and trust for exporters and foreign importers, benefiting Thai farmers.”
Thailand has shown interest in exploring applications of blockchain technology across various sectors and this latest development comes as no surprise. In July of this year, for instance, the Bank of Thailand revealed that it was reviewing blockchain applications that it was considering using to aid in cross-border payments, supply-chain financing, and document authentication.
Similarly, the Thai Bond Market Association also revealed around the same time that it was working on creating a crypto token that would enable instant clearing and settlement of corporate bonds. Last month also saw Kasikornbank, Thailand’s fourth-largest bank, partner with Visa B2B Connect which is a blockchain based cross-border payment solutions provider. Kasikornbank took this move in order to increase the security of cross-border payments for its clients.