Science & Technology: News Briefs

Presidents & Prime Ministers, November 1998 | Go to article overview

Science & Technology: News Briefs


Internet Law Library

Policy makers and law reformers in Asia will have free and full access to an Internet library of legislative materials which, in turn, will improve the quality and timeliness of the law-making process, thanks to a US$ 600,000 technical assistance grant from the Asian Development Bank.

The regional technical assistance is aimed at assisting ADB's developing member countries (DMCs) in the process of law reform by providing them with easy access to full-text legislation and related materials in priority areas of development law, particularly from international `best practice' jurisdictions. It will expand an Internet web prototype developed earlier with ADB assistance into a full-scale operating system. Development of Internet for Asian Law (DIAL) will provide the following functions: DIAL search will allow searching of the full-text of legislation currently available on the Internet from a large number of countries; DIAL index will identify Internet sites providing general information on selected legal subjects; and DIALogue will provide an email-based facility through which authorized users from DMCs can obtain assistance in their research from selected panelists in particular areas of development law.

Exporters On-line

On-line technologies are changing the way many Australian exporters do business and are opening up exciting new market opportunities throughout the world, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer, said recently.

Mr. Fischer was speaking on Online Australia Day (November 27, 1998), a special day of events organized by the Federal Government's National Office of the Information Economy, designed to showcase the benefits of the on-line economy in the general community and the business sector.

"This focus is timely given the enormous opportunities which some Australian companies are beginning to realize through the use of electronic commerce."

"Electronic commerce via the Internet is expanding rapidly with the global electronic trade in goods and services estimated to reach $US 1 trillion by early next century. That makes it all the more important that Australian firms take advantage of these new opportunities."

"Last year, as Minister for Trade, I launched The New Silk Road project which aims to build the understanding of Australian business about the international electronic commerce environment and how different businesses can use the Internet to boost their operations."

Mr. Fischer said, "electronic commerce is helping firms to overcome barriers in local and international markets by lowering local production costs and improving the efficiency of local supply and distribution."

"Electronic commerce also enables Australian businesses to advertise their goods, services and attractions to a global market instead of just a small local catchment area. It brings suppliers and final customers closer together, overcoming that tyranny of distance. …

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