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  • 27 May 2020

Powering Trade Connectivity – Q&A with CEO, KK Chong

In our rapidly digitalised economy, it is important for businesses to be fast, efficient and relevant. Mr Kok Keong (KK) Chong, CEO of GeTS, shares how a global supply chain platform like CALISTA can help to power global trade connectivity and make cross-border trade more accessible, predictable and easier to fulfill.


Q: How does CALISTA help companies trade more easily and efficiently?

KK: As more SMEs go regional and global, we want to enable them to trade across multiple countries and markets easily. Under CALISTA, companies will be able to meet the necessary compliance, logistics and financial requirements for trade with just a single platform. Our comprehensive suite of services—from import/export permit applications to cross-border payments and cargo insurance—removes the hassle of paperwork and helps companies to streamline their supply chain process.


Q: Why is it important for companies to go digital?

KK: Predictability, affordability and security are very important in our dynamic world. By going digital, companies can conduct their services more efficiently. For instance, our CALISTA freight exchange which we recently launched allows freight forwarders to manage their own freight rates and see what others are offering. Once done, they can then package and market their services to potential customers. It makes the search and speed of collaboration much faster.

Going digital is also especially relevant in our current times, where the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted some businesses. By digitalising trade processes, we can still continue businesses securely and comprehensively without face-to-face contact.


Q: Does improving trade processes benefit customers and consumers as well?

KK: Definitely. We see customers as our partners too, as they interact with businesses and are part of the ecosystem. When businesses are able to trade efficiently, customers will be able to receive their products quickly. At the end of the day, we are not just facilitating trade but making it accessible and easier for all in the community.


Q: What are some of the latest technologies GeTS is focusing on?

KK: Last year, we launched CALISTA Intelligent Agent that uses AI to help companies better manage their trade and data. For example, we provide them with alerts during unforeseen circumstances and information on the movement of their cargo. Our Open Trade Blockchain is also the region’s first cross-border blockchain platform. It is easy to use and enhances visibility, tracking and security.

We’ve also harnessed the use of machine learning and natural language processing for our smart HS code classification service. This service helps to generate the closest or matching HS codes based on past approved product declaration records, saving time and increasing the chances of obtaining Customs approval.


Q: In light of the recent covid-19 pandemic, what are some of the ways GeTS has reached out to businesses?

KK: We have come up with new price plans and deferred payment schemes for Singapore businesses. We hope that by making it more affordable for them to go digital, they can tide through this crisis more easily.


Q: How is GeTS managing the circuit breaker as a company?

KK: We have been having virtual chats with our employees to ensure their well-being and to keep them updated on the company’s latest happenings. It is important that we stay connected and don’t work in silos even though we are working from home. We are all part of a larger community and we want our employees to know that they are not alone or isolated, and that support is always there for them.

This is the first part of our series on powering trade connectivity. We will be sharing more on trade compliance, logistics and finance, so stay tuned in the upcoming months!

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