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    Business Round Table on IT Prospects in Central and Eastern Europe


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2001 

    Regional round tables stimulate networking and capacity building for e-trade.

    ITC joined with the Slovenian Ministry of Economic Relations and Development and WTO to hold a regional business round table on International Market Prospects for Information Technology Industries (Portorose, November 2000).

    Continued growth in the information technology (IT) industry is fuelling demand for skilled IT technicians and managers. Global market leaders are looking to the pool of skilled professionals with established production bases in Central and East Europe to enhance their supply potential and serve as partners for local integration.

    The event attracted 76 participants from 14 countries in the region. They included government policy-makers, national trade association officials and business executives. They were joined by government officials from India and the Philippines, as well as representatives of Oracle, Siemens, MCI Worldcom, Olivetti Lexicon and Ericsson.

    They left with a better understanding of the rules-based business environment and the WTO Agreements on Information Technology. Conclusions that emerged included recommendations to governments to create an IT-friendly trade environment, encourage matchmaking between SMEs and multinationals and actively pursue regional cooperation projects.

    The major topics discussed were:
    • Barriers to Trade in Information Technologies
    • IT Champions of the Region
    • IT Regional Perspectives
    • E-exporters: Limits to Growth
    • Outsourcing and Strategic Partnerships.

    Country IT profiles 

    ITC also launched a new tool at the meeting - Country Export Potential Profiles. Profiles for Armenia, Slovenia, Poland and the Czech Republic were presented, and very well received.

    Business networking 

    Participants benefited from opportunities to network, and several explored outsourcing and strategic alliances. Partnerships were forged at the meeting between India and Slovenia for software development, Slovenia and the Russian Federation for telecommunications, and Armenia and Slovenia for development of IT parks.

    As a result of the meeting, ITC received requests to organize a similar meeting for ASEAN countries, and a follow-up meeting in Slovenia. Estonia also requested ITC to launch a project on IT trade development.

    For more information, contact Nicolai Sémine, ITC Senior Market Development Officer, at semine@intracen.org