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Silk Road Coin (SRC) transforms commodity trade

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We're all used to the idea of digital currency - spending and receiving money that isn’t physically in front of us. But digital currencies still remain something of a mystery, writes Colin Stevens.

How might we use money in the future and whether we can even trust digital currencies such as cryptos are just two of the many questions being asked. Yet, its easy to see how digital currencies transforming the global trade and money movement.

Two major new reports, just published, seek to help us better understand this cryptic kind of currency and also dispel some of the myths surrounding the new technology.

One of the new entrants to this market is Silk Road Coin (SRC), a digital “utility token” designed to digitalise trade in Europe and New Silk Road Area.

LGR has developed a SRC business ecosystem, blockchain based digital environment which combines cross border money movement, trade finance and global supply chain and where SRC is used to fuel trade between buyers, traders and sellers. The SRC business ecosystem provides multi-dimensional perspective for physical goods and money movement in trade finance. It allows financial visibility and more efficient cash management supported by financial planning. The SRC business ecosystem also enables efficient supply chain finance through PO financing, factoring, payment option swaps etc. Furthermore the financial services solution reduces trade finance, money movement and currency exchange risks and costs.

From the global supply chain perspective, SRC business ecosystem uses SRC to issue smart contract, collects and validate trading documents in real time bases and so detect and fraud or discrepancies. It also deploys smart containers that provide data insights and requirements are to enforce and ensure the successful transport of products. To eliminate product loss, safety issues, blind spots and discovery for continuous monitoring and improvements. All this assures higher visibility of end-to-end supply chain and reduced product warehousing and wastage.

The use of SRC in the SRC business ecosystem therefore provides many financial benefits to its owners and drives down total transaction cost.

We estimate that SRC can be adopted by 80% of companies trading in Europe and China, which make up to one third of the total world population.

A separate White Paper, also by LGR Global, says that for those looking for a “comprehensive trading ecosystem”, SRC in SRC business ecosystem, provides stability and predictability and ultimately save costs. In the SRC business ecosystem, SRC is the only mechanism for trading partners to access to SRC business ecosystem services. Therefore, SRC will transform the trade in the Europe and New Silk Road which makes SRC “a great investment opportunity.”

LGR Global chose to establish itself in the European Union, specifically in Estonia which is renowned for a blockchain-friendly yet rigorous regulatory environment. LGR Global, is so convinced of the potential benefits that it plans to launch a Digital Trade Finance Platform in the New Silk Road Area (Europe-Central Asia-China). It is worth recalling perhaps that the New Silk Road Area is huge, consisting of 68 countries, many with their own currencies. Cross-border trade here means that the companies and stakeholders that participate in economic transactions are consequently faced with increased operational and other risks in comparison to other geographical areas.

The Silk Road Area itself has been the recipient of international attention of late due to enhanced trade and growth, as well as increased business partnerships between Europe and China. Foreign ownerships and subsidiary development are also on the rise, leading to a drastic increase in international trade and cross-border money movement transactions.

This is an area which represents 60% of the global population, 33% of the world’s GDP, and posts incredibly high and consistent rates of economic growth.

LGR Global CEO Ali Amirliravi said: “While for many companies the Covid-19 might have slowed their operations down for LGR and SRC business ecosystem it has been a great growth opportunity”. Due to Covid-19, the multi-commodity trading transactions, which are traditionally been dominated by big banks, are now facing new era. The LGR policy paper says the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted problems that currently exist in international trade, cross-border finance and global supply chains.

It says that within the multi commodity trading industry, overall trading volumes have moderately decreased. At the same time, first, high supply chain financing and money movement costs and bank delays have begun to critically impact the profitability of multi-commodity trading companies.

Second, due to inefficiencies in global supply chain, companies today have very low predictability and visibility whether they goods will arrive and when. Therefore, companies use excessive safety stock to protect themselves from any supply chain disruption, which again lead to high working capital levels.

The report says that due to Covid-19, some key changes have occurred in the commodity trading industry – leading to a sudden increase for “digital trade finance solutions.”

The global Covid-19 crisis has also demonstrated the need for immediate action within international supply chains and markets, says the report, adding, “It is a critical time for infrastructure upgrades, digitalisation and increased transparency. While the pandemic has caused a lot of negative effects on the global scale, a potential positive impact is that it has made clear to the industry and the public at large that changes do need to be made to optimize processes and improve the overall functioning of international trade and trade finance.”

In summary, LGR Global says the Silk Road Coin offers a secure and controlled business environment that can revolutionize international commodity trade in a fast growing market.

Business

International safety company Bollé announces partnership with Welsh manufacturer to drive international supply of protective eyewear equipment

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Production of a new range of safety eyewear for one of the world's leading names in the industry, Bollé, has begun at a site in Wales. Bollé Safety, a specialist in the development of personal protective equipment (PPE) eyewear, has announced a partnership with Welsh firm, RotoMedical, part of Rototherm Group, which has become the French company’s exclusive UK manufacturer of PPE eyewear for the health-care industry.

More than three million PPE items are set to be produced a month at RotoMedical’s manufacturing base in Port Talbot, South Wales, following the launch of production at the beginning of June. The partnership, which has been praised by Life Sciences Hub Wales, will see products distributed across the UK and Ireland as well as exported to healthcare markets globally, with key regions including Europe, Australia and North America.

RotoMedical’s expansion into the life sciences sector has been supported by Life Sciences Hub Wales, which has worked to supply the business with access to contacts, expertise and advice to help with the expansion.

Ahead of the production launch, senior representatives at Bollé, which has its European headquarters based in Lyon, visited RotoMedical’s manufacturing base in the Welsh valleys to make final product checks and confirm certifications.

Bollé Safety Sales Vice President Ian Walbeoff said: “At Bollé Safety, our mission has always been to protect the eyesight of healthcare professionals across the world, even in the most challenging environments, ensuring they are able to safely work on the frontline. At the heart of our brand is a genuine desire to continually innovate and use the best available technology to create the highest quality products, and our partnership with RotoMedical will play a key role in achieving this.

“Combining both our companies’ long-standing legacies and expertise will enable us to collaboratively design, manufacture and assemble products that put innovation at the fore and set a new global industry standard when it comes to performance, excellence and sustainability”.

Rototherm Group, a company dating back to the 1880s, specialises in the production of industrial measuring instruments. During the pandemic, the firm pivoted to also produce medical masks and protective face shields for health and care workers under the brand RotoMedical.

Since the pandemic’s arrival in the UK, the Port Talbot manufacturer has increased production capacity of plastic face visors from a 1,000 per day to 250,000 every week. That rapid success has catalysed further expansion into the life sciences sector, as RotoMedical has progressed to produce BSI certified Type IIR face masks, which are surgical grade and designed for use by healthcare professionals.

Rototherm Group Business Development Director Tarkan Conger said: “Our ambition has always been to continue to expand and develop the business, and in turn to create more jobs for the local economy. The partnership with Bollé will enable us to build on our industrial expertise and innovation as we embed ourselves in the life sciences sector, expanding into new manufacturing capabilities and markets.”

Following the supply contract with Bollé, the company added safety goggles to its remit, for which it has created a dedicated automated production line. The Bollé face shields will be manufactured by RotoMedical, Rototherm's medical and protective equipment division, using locally sourced raw materials.

Rototherm Group Managing Director Oliver Conger said: “We’re proud to be an SME in Wales, and the drive is to continue securing partnerships with other companies in Wales and internationally. With the help of Life Sciences Hub Wales, we have been able to establish links throughout Welsh industry, and we’re committed to further growing our global presence. We’ve invested everything we’ve got into the local economy and into the business, which will continue as we expand internationally.”

Bollé Safety Sales Vice President Ian Walbeoff added: “This partnership marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Bollé Safety in Wales and the UK as we continue to grow our presence in the country and invest in local communities. It will help us to further our capabilities developing products with sustainability at their core as we will work with locally sourced materials, proudly boasting the ‘Made in Britain’ stamp of excellence.

“The capabilities at Rototherm are testament to the highly skilled manufacturing workforce available here in Wales, and we look forward to playing a part in further driving manufacturing excellence from the region.”

Speaking about the new partnership between Rototherm and Bollé Safety, Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO at Life Sciences Hub Wales said: “Life Sciences Hub Wales is proud to be supporting Rototherm’s journey into the life sciences sector and welcome the expanding international connections. We congratulate them for the work they have done to support the UK during a time of great need and on securing this contract will Bollé which will see these successes continue.”

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EU

European Social Fund: Fighting poverty and unemployment

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The improved European Social Fund+ programme focuses on fighting child poverty and youth unemployment in Europe, Society.

On 8 June, the European Parliament adopted new rules to tackle unemployment and poverty in the EU in the wake of the pandemic crisis. The renewed and simplified European Social Fund, known as the European Social Fund+, will focus on children and youth.

With a budget of €88 billion for 2021-2027, the fund will help EU countries provide access to free education, decent food and housing for children. It will also support investments in apprenticeships and vocational training for unemployed young people.

Many people are concerned about social and employment issues. The fund will promote social inclusion for those suffering job losses and income reduction and will provide food and basic assistance to the most deprived. What is the European Social Fund?  

  • It is the EU's oldest financial instrument to invest in people, improve job opportunities for workers and raise their standard of living.  
  • Funding is distributed to EU countries and regions to finance operational programmes and employment-related projects, from helping to create work to addressing educational gaps, poverty and social inclusion.
  • Beneficiaries are usually people, but funding can also be used to help companies and organizations. 
More flexibility, simplicity and efficiency

The updated European Social Fund Plus merges a number of existing funds and programmes, pooling their resources:

This allows for more integrated and targeted support. For instance, people affected by poverty will benefit from a better mix of material assistance and comprehensive social support.

Because of these more flexible and simpler rules, it should be easier for people and organizations to benefit from the fund.

Priorities

The European Social Fund+ will invest in three main areas:

  • Education, training and lifelong learning
  • Effectiveness of labour markets and equal access to quality employment
  • Social inclusion and combatting poverty

The fund also supports initiatives enabling people to find better employment or work in a different EU region or country. This includes developing new skills for new types of jobs required by the green and digital transitions.

Read more about social policies 

European Social Fund+  

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Data protection

Online privacy: The GDPR struggle

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Two years after the implementation of the GDPR, 45% of European internet users still do not feel confident in their internet privacy. While the vast majority of companies are still not being fined for failing to protect their customers' data, the intended purpose of the GDPR is beaten by the silly complexity to refusing to share our data, very often presented as a pop-up allowing you to check what you agree to share, many websites still do not even offer you the possibility to refuse at all.

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