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    Moving towards E-competence


    Executive Forum 2000: Export Development in the Digital Economy
    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2001 

    ITC, in cooperation with Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco), hosted its second Executive Forum on National Export Strategies in Montreux in September 2000. Over 20 national teams participated in the debate, which concentrated on the theme, Export Development in the Digital Economy. Each team was asked to analyse the implications of e-trade for international competitiveness and to determine what, in its opinion, would be the most suitable national response.

    A network to implement e-trade strategies 

    Participants shared views and learned about other countries' experiences - both successes and failures. The event helped build a network of senior public-sector decision-makers, business leaders and e-trade specialists that can facilitate experience-sharing and efforts to design and implement national e-trade strategies long after the Montreux consultation.

    The debate was supported by research papers contributed by each national team and e-commerce specialists. ITC also organized a series of e-discussions which reached some 600 participants from 85 countries. These e-discussions not only generated wide commentary on e-trade, its opportunities and threats, but also contributed to the assessment of strategic options.

    Launching a national effort 

    Many of the conclusions of Executive Forum 2000 only scratch the surface. They do, however, point the export strategy-maker in the right direction when it comes to launching a national effort to achieve e-competency and e-trade capability.

    ITC's role 

    ITC looks forward to continuing this dialogue to enhance national e-trade capability with its partners in developing and transition economies. The Executive Forum 2000 contributed to the refinement and finalization of ITC's first technical assistance strategy for supporting e-facilitated trade. Readers are encouraged to participate in what ITC plans to be an active global programme of technical support in the area of export development in the digital economy.