The government of Azerbaijan announced on June 12 that they had reached an agreement with IBM to develop a blockchain technology platform for the country’s customs procedures. The official memorandum to commit to the development of the project will be signed on June 13.
At a press conference held during the IT/TI IT/TI Conference and Exhibition of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Safar Mehdiyev, the chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee explained that this partnership will help to greatly improve the efficiency and security of the customs apparatus.
“It will be possible to obtain the necessary information from the database online, without outside interference,” Mehdiyev explained. “It will be useful for both entrepreneurs and customs authorities, as it will improve the quality of customs services provided.”
The plan doesn’t end with the IBM partnership. Azerbaijan is working with other countries in the region on bilateral agreements to use this technology in other areas. “In this direction, we are implementing a project with Ukraine with the support of Georgia and Moldova,” he added.
IBM had already been involved with the central bank of Azerbaijan. That partnership developed in October 2018 where blockchain technology was going to be used in the banking industry. This was a five-year project. Now, IBM will be using this technology to assist with the tracking of cargo.
The government of Azerbaijan appears to be making a very smart move in partnering with IBM. They have quickly become a leader in the development of blockchain technology, finding applications for their platforms across a wide variety of industries. This includes customer service, the tracking of food, protection of banks and financial institutions, and tracking of mineral production and distribution.
With partnerships already in place with the central bank and the customs agency for Azerbaijan, IBM now looks to assist the justice ministry. The blockchain technology will be used to create smart contracts to be used in the legal system and housing sectors. The planned technology will first be used with the justice ministry but is expected to find great application in public utilities, including water, electricity, and gas.
IBM has recently partnered with the U.S. government, developing a platform that will be used to track shipments. The project is being developed for the U. S. Customs and Border Protection agency. The partnership was first reported in August and it appears that portions of the platform have already been implemented.
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