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    Bridging the Use Divide


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 3/2005 

    Photo: ITC/N. Ben-Ammar Tekin Gultekin trains participants in Bangkok in using ITC's e-tools.

    Addressing the "use divide" is the focus of ITC's E-trade Bridge Programme during its second cycle, which began with representatives from China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand unveiling their national action plans. The use divide denotes the relatively low application of information and communications technologies (ICTs) by companies, even in cases where there is no significant "digital divide" or "access divide".

    At a workshop held in Bangkok in June 2005, ITC presented a set of "e-tools" to E-trade Bridge partner agencies in 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Thus equipped, the agencies set out to build their own programmes and form national "enterprise management development" centres in their countries in a bid to tackle the use divide.

    The event attracted high-calibre players from the region, who exchanged views and shared experiences in implementing e-solutions for firms.

    "E-tools can help managers of small firms make better decisions for their survival and growth," said Vice-Minister Kanawat Wasinsungworn of Thailand's Ministry of Information and Telecommunication as he inaugurated the second phase of ITC's E-trade Bridge Programme.

    ITC's e-tools, developed during the first phase of the Programme, help small and medium-sized firms apply ICTs effectively to meet their business needs, and build related national capacities. Forty-one participants representing 27 institutions from the region learned how to use and disseminate the e-tools.

    The Programme's regional hub in the Philippines, the Association of Training Institutions for Foreign Trade in Asia and the Pacific (ATIFTAP), will provide new members with technical support and gather them under its regional umbrella.

    ATIFTAP and the Thai Institute of International Trade and Development jointly financed the workshop and coordinated its organization.


    For more information, contact etradebridge@intracen.org