Web Site Beckons Small Firms

Cambodia’s small businesses can now promote and sell their products worldwide, from Brazil to Britain, using a self-service e-commerce Web site run by Canadian-based Global Advanced Technology Co.

For a $25 monthly fee, any business owner can plug into GTA’s e-commerce program (http://www.eplanetshopping.com/kh) to create an electronic shopping Web site.

“It’s something like you rent a space at a supermarket,” said San Sarana, commercial officer with the Canadian Embassy, which promotes the GTA program.

He said the program to create an individual Web site is ready-made and the hassle of processing and verifying credit card transactions is taken care of by the GTA. The business owner retains control over which products to promote and sell.

Brad Chapman, GTA’s sales-marketing director, said each business owner is protected from credit card fraud because everything is processed through GTA, which is also responsible for any charges when a stolen credit card is use to purchase products. Business owners are required to pay a 9 percent commission for such services, he said.

E-commerce is one of the ways the Cambodian government encourages local businesses to sell goods overseas. The Ministry of Commerce has created its own Web site with descriptions of garments and other local products, but the site is not set up for e-commerce.

The GTA Web site is “a starting point for Cambodia to take advantage of e-commerce,” San Sarana said.

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