Despite the increasing digitalization of the world’s economies, international trade transactions, in particular cross-border B2B contracting, are often still conducted on paper, with wet ink signatures and occasional stamps, and physical exchange via mail or courier. While current technologies for electronic contracting such as digital signatures offer advantages in reliability, efficiency, and sustainability, it remains little used.
However, the digitalization of trade documents would not only significantly boost business efficiency savings and stimulate international economic growth, it could also reduce carbon emissions from the global logistics industry. Taken together, the implementation of reliable e-transactions holds significant promise to improve international trade flows, while also making them more sustainable.
To address the issue, this project investigates challenges and solutions in regard to necessary legal and regulatory frameworks, technological solutions, and institutional structures. To promote electronic contracts, efforts are required to enhance stakeholder capacity, user-friendliness of interfaces, and the adoption of e-transactions on a national level with international ambitions in mind.