2000 Ho Chi Minh - Electronic Commerce
Note: This policy statement was issued on the 30th of November 2000 during the 18th CACCI Conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
1. Electronic commerce holds out enormous potential to expand business efficiency and opportunities, provide smaller firms with easier access to global markets, and expand the consumer choices of ordinary citizens.
2. Similarly, electronic commerce also has the potential to deliver substantial benefits in human resource development, through more effective and efficient education and training systems.
3. For governments, electronic commerce can mean more efficient, robustly developing and stronger growing economies, with attendant benefits in national income from which it can fund the proper social objectives of government. It also offers a means for enhancing two-way communications between governments and the citizenry.
4. In making this statement, CACCI and its member national chambers, recognize the different stages of, and strategies for, economic development of nations in the Asia Pacific region.
5. For the more developed economies, the priorities are facilitating the take-up of cutting edge technologies; for lesser-developed economies, the priorities are in building fundamental capacities to realise the longer term benefits of electronic commerce. Business and government in the developed economies should endeavour to assist the lesser developed economies in achieving these objectives.
6. CACCI regards the interests of smaller firms as particularly important in electronic commerce, given their fundamental economic importance as producers and exporters in the region.
I. The Role of Business
7. CACCI believes the business sector must play the leading role in developing electronic commerce, across the technology, applications, practices and services elements.
8. Market forces, commercial opportunities and competitive rewards must drive the growth and development of electronic commerce.
9. Greater take-up of electronic commerce by business will deliver substantial benefits to such enterprises, such as wider access to information about different approaches to doing business, and more efficient supply chain management, and potentially direct and easier access to new markets.
II. The Role of Government
10. CACCI believes the appropriate role for government is to facilitate the development and uptake of electronic commerce, most notably by providing minimalist, consistent, predictable and transparent legal and regulatory regimes; protecting the interest of consumers, the rights of individuals and intellectual property; and, where appropriate, providing the necessary infrastructure.
11. Domestically, governments can act as a leading-edge user of electronic commerce to encourage greater take-up of such technologies amongst local businesses and consumers, especially SMEs, for example through its procurement and provision of goods and services. However, in doing so, it should be neutral between existing and emerging technologies.
12. Internationally, governments must work constructively together and with commerce and industry to ensure compatibility of global standards and practices, inter-operability and convergence of technological systems, and the protection of intellectual property.
III. The Role of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
13. CACCI, as the representative voice of national chambers of commerce and industry in the Asia Pacific region, is appropriately situated to play a greater and more effective role in the work of various regional groupings on electronic commerce.
14. Priority areas for action by CACCI include:
a. Promoting at the policy level within APEC, SAARC, etc., the identification and dissemination of information on benchmarking and best practices in electronic commerce;
b. More effective engagement in practical work on electronic commerce relevant to transport, customs and trade documentation; while,
c. Also giving special attention to economic and technical co-operation (ecotech) activities to stimulate the take-up of electronic commerce by enterprises in lesser developed member nations.
15. National chambers of commerce and industry have an important role to play representing the voice of business in the development of electronic commerce frameworks.
16. Priority areas for such representative work by national chambers of commerce and industry within their respective economies include:
a. Ensuring the development of accessible and inter-operable communications infrastructures;
b. Identifying, and seeking action to reduce, if not eliminate, regulatory barriers to the development and take-up of electronic commerce, especially amongst smaller firms;
c. Representing to governments the views of commerce and industry on important allied dimensions of electronic commerce, such as authentication, consumer protection, privacy, taxation issues, intellectual property rights;
d. Undertaking demonstration projects for their rank-and-file members on the practical applications of electronic commerce; and,
e. Offering education and training services to businesses, especially smaller firms, and their employees to enable them to realise and capitalise upon the potentialities of electronic commerce.
17. CACCI will continue to assist and facilitate the above activities by the national chambers, for example, by disseminating relevant information.