| Mitsui, Hitachi, Five Banks to Join Bolero Project
June 26, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd. will
formally join the Bolero Project, an experiment slated to start in
November to promote worldwide document creation and trading
settlements entirely by electronic means.
|Also joining from Japan through the two companies are five city
banks, an associated source said.
The objective of Bolero is to create electronic documents related to
trading, such as bills of lading, and to employ electronic data
interchange (EDI) for transacting all trading settlements via banks
. The experiment will start in November with a few select companies
and its formal launch is in April 1999.
Because many companies that conduct import and export businesses are
expected to use it in the future, the Bolero project is attracting
The Japanese city banks that will join the project are Sakura Bank
Ltd., Sanwa Bank Ltd., Sumitomo Bank Ltd., Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi
Ltd. and Fuji Bank Ltd. Trading companies including Sumitomo Corp.
and Marubeni Corp. are scheduled to join later.
Bills of lading are now exchanged by international mail services. In
Europe, an experiment of creating electronic letters of credit
began in 1994, which later took shape as the Bolero project.
It is now managed by the company called Bolero in the United Kingdom
, which was established by the Society for Worldwide Interbank
Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) and others.
Japanese companies plan to keep abreast of the project's
Mitsui and Hitachi cooperate with Sanwa Bank, which is becoming
active in the Bolero project among the Japanese "keiretsu" groups.
Nihon Unisys Ltd., which has a capital tie-up with Mitsui, also is
joining the project. These four companies represent the center of
collaboration among companies that are supporting the Bolero
Mitsui believes that it is necessary to design a system to smoothly
transact trading-related financial data among Bolero participants
and their clients in order to promote EDI.
Mitsui is actively building an EDI network with its clients. Sanwa
Bank also is considering a move to tighten relations between its
clients that plan to join Bolero, and Sanwa Bank will do this in
part by joining Bolero.
Another trade/finance EDI project called EDEN is promoted by Japan's
Ministry of International Trade and Industry. EDEN is being
developed mainly by IBM Japan Ltd. and the experiment will start
this fall. It will proceed to a next-phase commercial project to
start in fiscal 1999.
It is not clear if Bolero and EDEN will be complementary or in
competition. EDEN lags behind Bolero because the time for a formal
launch is not yet fixed.