Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC Spells out Its E-Trade Strategy

Magazine article International Trade Forum

ITC Spells out Its E-Trade Strategy

Article excerpt

The coclusions drawn from the Executive Forum helped ITC to crystalize its thinking on how to assist its clients to understand, develop and apply the new information and communication technologies and associated business practices to internatinal trade. The following are key elements from ITCs strategy.

El Salvador's electronic export system

The Electronic System of Exports (SIEX) in El Salvador enables exporters to obtain electronically via the Internet all the required export documents from the Export Procedures Centre (CENTREX), at any hour, day or night. Through SIEX, the exporter sends information on transactions and obtains the corresponding authorization directly at the place of business.

Almost 77,000 operations were authorized by SIEX during 1999 - 30% of them during non-commercial hours - for an amount exceeding US$ 2 billion.

Not only does the system greatly reduce the time required to obtain authorizations, it is estimated that the average operation saves the exporter an equivalent of US$ 15 in direct costs.

From SIEX to SICEX

We are now launching a successor site which will improve connectivity and information, and have trained firms to use it. See http://www.centrex.gob.sv

From ITC's e-mail discussions, contributed by Rebeca Flor, Export Procedure Centre (CENTRE, Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador, rebeca.flor@bcr.gob.sv

ITC implementation

National e-trade programmes

ITC's Implementation Plan is focused on delivering technical assistance at the country level to build national e-competence. The aim is to help countries build national e-trade programmes - through a package of training, advisory services, information, and partnership networks.

The services range from national e-trade strategy development, to institutional e-trade development, right up to company-level training. Together, they form interlinked programmes, aimed at national governments, trade support institutions and enterprises.

E@ITC

At the same time, ITC is also moving forward to enhance its own e-capability. Its services and resources are increasingly available via the Internet or in CD-ROM format, as well in traditional form. ITC's web site has improved considerably, and it is fast transforming itself into a technical cooperation tool. New portals are planned for training, purchasing and business competitiveness. Where feasible and useful, ITC is using video-- conferencing techniques, in collaboration with the World Bank, to increase its outreach to clients. ITC is continually updating its own knowledge of the digital economy for analysis from the SME perspective and, in order to share this knowledge with its clientele, is producing an increasing number of publications and services.

The pages ahead capture some of these changes, including an update on the new ITC site and the new Forum magazine site, a list of e-relevant ITC sources, and news about and from partner organizations.

The ITC strategy for e-facillitated trade development is based on three components:

Awareness raising. ITC will raise awareness among its clients by demonstrating potential positive and negative impacts of e-trade. To do this, it will:

exchange information on the use of digital technology for trade: latest developments, opportunities, benefits and limitations;

develop partner country capacities to understand the business implications of advances in information and communication technology, and national competitiveness issues arising from them, by working with local decisionmakers and influencers; and

act as a`catalyst by organizing regional conferences which bring together all stakeholders to share ideas and best practices. …

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