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Governments embrace B2B

TRADE Minister, Mark Vaile, has announced a landmark co-operative agreement between the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and the trade promotion organisations of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland to develop an international portal of business-to-business electronic marketplaces.

“Electronic marketplaces are becoming important tools in global business, with this international portal destined to become the way for businesses to stay informed about electronic marketplaces in the future,” Mr Vaile said.

Mr Vaile said the portal, to be launched in December, will contain a searchable database of eMarkets designed to help small and medium sized enterprises find eMarkets relevant to their needs as well as information on how to use them as a channel for internationalising.

Austrade’s Managing Director, Charles Jamieson, said eMarket databases currently on the web were not aimed at goods and services exporters.

“As informed and independent advisers, we as trade promotion agencies can help companies find relevant markets and provide impartial information about them,” he said.

“I’m delighted that Austrade has joined with these Nordic trade promotion organisations to make a real difference to small and medium sized businesses seeking to make sense of this new and exciting way of doing international business.”

Ulf Dinkelspiel, president of the Swedish Trade Council, said the new portal would bring together work from the other partner agencies which also have been independently examining eMarkets and providing information to exporters in their respective countries.

“By sharing knowledge and expertise I strongly believe we can become a leading global player and maintain this position,” he said

State Secretary of the Danish Trade Council, Birger Riis-Joergensen, said the portal would become an important weapon in the global business arsenal catering for the future demands of internationally oriented SMEs.

“The SME’s ability to safely navigate the rapidly expanding eMarkets will be crucial to exploiting their huge international business potential and this visionary joint project will undoubtedly increase the navigational ability of smaller companies on the high seas of international business.”

Jon Strömberg, vice president of the Norwegian Trade Council, said due to interest expressed by other trade support organisations from across the globe, including Mexico, Singapore and Geneva, expanding the project collaboration early next year was being considered.

“Ultimately, our vision is to become a truly international human network where we all share our knowledge of how eMarkets are being used in different countries around the world,” he said.

Jon Asbergsson of the Trade Council of Iceland agrees saying it was the only way to stay on top of a rapidly changing world.

“All parties will be better off, particularly our clients.

“Perhaps this project will also pave the way for other future cooperation as we help our constituent exporters better prepare to participate in the global economy.”

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