International Trade & Forfaiting Association (ITFA)

Australia & New Zealand Regional Chapter

Hosted at ANZ – 833 Collins Street, Docklands, Melbourne – 24th October 2023

ITFA Seminar brings XDC Network to Local attention in Australia

ITFA Seminar – hosted by the Australia & New Zealand Regional Chapter – in the heart of Docklands, Melbourne, on an uncharacterically warm and clear Tuesday in October, was an event of immense significance for Australia and New Zealand Trade & Supply Chain took place.

The ITFA ANZRC Seminar drew Financers, Bankers, Insurers, Brokers, Fintech Professionals, Financial Accountants & other vested parties from across the APAC region. Among the attendees was Sean White, a fervent advocate for blockchain technology in Trade/Supply Chain tokenisation and Lead for Ecosystem and Business Development of the XDC Network in Australia – and broader Pacific region.

Founded in the late 1990s, the ITFA stands as a pivotal group for global trade, forfaiting, supply chain and receivables financing – moving to advance standards, methods and bringing together banks and financial institutions who are engaged in originating and distributing trade related risk – finding creative ways to mitigate risks – increasingly by utilisng the convergence of blockchain and fintech.

Let us glimpse into Sean’s experiences at the seminar and the valuable insights he gained during this remarkable event.

ITFA Seminar A/NZ RC – What is Next for Supply Chain Finance?

In an era where traditional financial and logisitcal systems are undergoing massive transformations through blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, events like these also serve to facilitate the bridging of another type of “gap” – between the broad traditional umbrella of “trade” and the emerging integration of blockchain and other fintech.

Seminar Highlights

The seminar boasted a lineup of passionate professionals; including Accounting experts, Economists and Experienced – and Emerging -Trade and Supply Chain Finance industry leaders, ably and engagingly MCd by the Regional Chapter’s Chair, Damain Kwok.

  1. Introductory remarks with Alan Huse: Oozing and delivering a wealth of APAC experience and wisdom, originating from more than just a Transactional Banking perspective. Alan made the room click from the beginning.
  2. Economic Outlook with Catherine Birch: Insightful and not afraid to work a room without a chart. Also keen enough to make some conclusions on forecasting – in essence not your average Economist. A timely check on where we truly are, post-COVID.
  3. Supply Chain Finance Accounting Standards Panel: Hugo Loneragan and Steven Cunico lent their experience and diligence in a Panel discussion (with thanks to Steve Scott facilitating) on new standards of disclosure and reporting for Supply Chain Finance. There was noticably a lot of notes being taken throughout this discussion, and as a “big picture” tech-guy, this seemed like an overdue – and welcomed – investigation of Regulatory changes in the local Industry.
  4. Looking towards the Future; ITFA Mentoring with Deb Santosa: Outlined ITFA’s advancement of the largest community of young professionals in the Trade Finance industry. The global breadth of activity was pleasant to see – much is going on beyond our shores.
  5. Emerging Leaders Presentation from Mina Rafl: An accelerated run through of blockchain use-case in the Trade and related industries. Mina addressed topics like the current state-of-play of decentralized supply chain, the role of blockchain in providing a “Layer 0” Interoperability going forward and the evolution of Energy tokenisation, among other things.
  6. Closing remarks from Kevin Corbally: Economic ebbs and tides are almost governed by how “safe” we all feel. Kevin reminded us today that with the series of Global Political tensions lapping at our doors, we must take courage and like Alice in Wonderland, be prepared for all sorts of risks – mostly importantly, being able to be free enough to “respond”.
  7. Networking evening: Most attendees seized the opportunity to network with professionals from the diverse mix of attendees, within this niche event, after the Seminar. These conversations and connections not only broadened Sean’s personal and professional horizons but, more pertinently, helped bring the region up to speed as to XDC Network’s commitment and acuity in Trade and Finance, and within the ITFA’s mission itself.

ITFA Seminar Key Takeaways

As the seminar concluded, Sean had several key takeaways that he knew would significantly impact his work going forward for XDC Network in Australia and the region:

  1. The Power of Collaboration: Sean recognized the immense value of joining energies, regionally, with a network of like-minded professionals in Trade. The XDC Network is certainly comfortable in these climes, as it is no stranger to the ITFA – as it is obviously not only a member – but most definitely an active contributor – since 2021. This event potentially opened doors to collaborations that could accelerate XDC Network Australia’s mission of promoting blockchain adoption in Trade Finance and further tokenisation of Trade Instruments into our corner of APAC. As an early adopter of this global mission, the XDC Network has been everpresent – in modern Blockchain terms, even if seemingly in the background – having been invited to work amongst the Trade Fiance Distribution intiative (TFDi) and Digital Negotiable Instruments intiative (DNIi) working groups of the ITFA, to work with associated ITFA Fintech partners, like TradeTeq and TradeTrust, and putting its shoulder to the grindstone to get this done, together.
  2. Renewed Inspiration: Sean left the seminar and networking event with a renewed sense of inspiration. The event had seemingly ignited everyone’s creativity, possibly driving them to explore innovative solutions and strategies, even within the blockchain space – if not provided more clarity of expected Accounting Disclosures and Reporting practices within SCF. We, as XDC, are here for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) all over the World and eager to finally help rebalance the Global Economy towards more Social equanimity. The “gaps” need closing and we will do all we can to ensure this journey and outcome.


Sean’s presence at the event symbolised the commitment of XDC Network to staying at the forefront of blockchain innovations in the region. Such occasions – serving to broaden understanding, build community and excite synergy in the real world move to scale Trade Origination and Distribution – are essential stepping stones, as we all do our bit as an industry to close that multi-trillion dollar trade finance gap.

The ITFA ANZRC Seminar in Docklands, Melbourne, left a lasting impact on Sean, and seemingly, the entire XDC Network community – and possibly beyond. Notable members of the global Trade community publicly acknoweldged this event and XDC’s participation. It reinforced the potential transformative power of the Economy of a Region – and underlined the importance of Mentoring and Learning.

Further it highlighted the importance of networking, of consistently broadening one’s horizon, knowledge and engagment within our Industry. As blockchain technology continues to reshape the financial, receivables and supply chain landscape, events like these play a pivotal role in keeping professionals at the cutting edge.

Sean’s experience at the seminar served as a testament to the potent convergence of finance and blockchain technology, with the ultimate use-case being International Trade and Economic equanamity and stability – a task that XDC Network is privileged to meet.