E-Trade Web Site Launched

The Ministry of Commerce has launched its World Wide Web site for electronic trade promotion, in an effort to compete with other Asean members in the world market.

The homepage at http://www. moc.gov.kh, which includes information on government policies, annual trade statistics and all registered exporters and sample garment products, is aimed at boosting trade by offering an opportunity of electronic commerce on its “Cambodia Trade Forum” site, according to the ministry.

Through the trade forum site, potential buyers and sellers can search for information on products and markets, inquire stock options and make a deal online, said Takehiko Ogawa, webmaster and adviser to Minister Cham Prasidh. The functions of accoun­t­­­ing, payment, distribution and customer support necessary to complete electronic trade will be added over time, he said.

“I believe this program would be the first step for the development of ‘e-commerce’ in Cam­bodia,” Ogawa said.

According to the ministry, about 148 million people in 190 countries are connected to the Internet. Out of 40 million web sites, 27 million are com­mercial-related; ‘e-commerce’ sales are expected to exceed $359 billion worldwide in 2000.

Ogawa noted the Internet trade forum would enhance access to the worldwide market much cheaper, faster and easier for Cambodia. He also said garment manufacturing, Cambodia’s leading industry that depends on individual marketing, would benefit from a systematic mass marketing in the electronic program.

In addition to electronic trade, the web site is linked to dozens of other trade promotion sites, including world trade statistics sites and other international trade organizations such as Asean and the World Trade Organization.

Ogawa said business updates, ministry regulations and other legal notices and monthly trade statistics will be available on the site soon, in addition to current information on the function of the ministry and its departments.

The ministry’s Internet project is the first independent web site of all Cambodian government institutions. It was made available with Japanese aid. The Japan Inter­national Cooperation Agen­cy financed about $12,000 for computer equipment and the program design and provided an expert to the ministry.

“This is a very important tool for the export promotion of Cambodian products,” Minister Cham Prasidh said at the launching ceremony last week. “The Internet trading is one of the most effective gateways to expand the business and trade without a large amount of investment.”

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