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    In Nepal, Ten Countries Review E-business Potential


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2003

    What can countries do to ensure that they are ready to help small firms participate in e-business?

    This was the issue discussed at a two-day workshop attended by ten countries from the Asia-Pacific region and organized by the Government of Nepal and ITC in November 2003. The meeting was one of a number of events, supported by ITC, to bring the voice of small exporters to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Conference recommendations were fed into WSIS and formed part of the Nepal High Level Commission's efforts to raise the importance of information and communications technologies (ICT) as a tool for poverty alleviation and job creation.


    The forum, inaugurated by Nepal's Prime Minister, recommended:
    • promoting small and medium-sized enterprises in regional e-marketplaces;
    • developing more awareness-raising initiatives to show managers of small businesses the tangible benefits of using ICT to trade internationally; and
    • conducting practical training to integrate ICT skills with good enterprise management.

    Case studies

    Several countries were quick to point out that e-business is as relevant for traditional industries as it is for the new high-tech sectors. They exchanged business models and experiences on what works and what does not. Case studies from craft producers, textile companies and agribusiness formed part of the deliberations.

    New cooperation

    During the conference, the National Association of Software and Services Companies of India and the Computer Association of Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding to identify joint areas for cooperation to promote business outsourcing and other forms of e-business. Other participants began discussions on partnerships.


    Among the organizations present were the Asian Productivity Organization from Tokyo and the Sri Lanka Export Promotion Board, along with observer delegations from Cambodia, China and Russia. The delegates were optimistic that an Asia-Pacific Trade Web could be established as a result of the project.

    For more information, contact Nikolai Sémine, Chief, ITC E-trade Development Unit, at semine@intracen.org