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Subject: Stiring a bigger pot this time? - Trade facilitation, eCommerce and Business

Dear All,

I follow this list's mailings and thoroughly enjoy the precise
observations and sparkling humour mixed in discussions - the last example
being the "Did ebXML ...". Hope you can help me with another overview
issue not entirely related to your area of expertise.

I work on a trade facilitation project (www.gfptt.org), and have to
provide a short summary description and the essential links for the IT
related topics there - for which, your help and contributions are most

Let me start by a short intro:
* Trade facilitation (TF) is an area of international and national
administrative and business activities defined as "the facilitation of all
physical, procedural and administrative steps involved in an international
trade transaction, including particularly transport and cross-border

On the global level TF includes creating standards, conventions and
recommendations (ebXML is one of them, others are not related to IT, like
the uniform road signs worldwide, or the classification for fruit and
vegetables in Class A, B, C,...).

National measures are related to implementing these standards in
legislation and practical measures for reducing waiting times, and involve
both Government and business. Estimates show that efficient TF would
decrease world trade spendings by 5-12% (which is more than the average
current duty level), and border crossing is the major bottleneck - with
transaction chains of 40 participants in average, borders are crossed
several times.

* The Global Facilitation Partnership (GFP) was created by the World Bank
in 1999 as a voluntary forum for the major players mentioned above
(International organizations, Government and Business) who meet regularly
to discuss their work and current issues. It consists of over 150

The website I work on aims at creating a global reference and
collaboration tool for TF ressources of GFP partners, and will also offer
a Roster of Experts to interested organizations managing TF projects.

Now, my task is to fill with content the topic Electronic Commerce and
Buisness [1] from the TF prospective. This means giving information and
essential links on how electronic commerce - as applied by business -
helps facilitating trade and transport (also maybe - why eCommerce is not
yet widely emlpoyed by business to facilitate trade if this is the case in
reality). This is a very wide topic that ought to cover authomating of B2B
and B2A activities in international trade and transport. It may include,
for example, EDI/EDIFACT, ebXML, electronic documents but also business
applications for logistics, supply chain management (incl. barcoding and
RFID), customs processing software (like the one developed by the UN
project ASYCUDA), other B2A applications related to trade facilitation,
single window, electronic papers like the BOLERO bill of lading, etc.

* Help wanted: What I would be grateful to receive from you is links to
manager level, non-technical information about such efforts you are aware
of or participating in, and the official, cornerstone papers produced by
these efforts. Ideally, it will also cover major vendor and open source
implementations, and outline developments (inofficial papers/opinions are
welcome too but will not necessarily be published on the site).

You are also welcome to visit www.gfptt.org and register - after approval,
you will be able to post information yourself (postings are subject to
revision prior to the official launch of the site). For guidance on doing
so see the Tutorial part of the site [2]. Please note that prior to
registering, you should check whether your company/organization is a GFP
partner [3] and if yes, indicate this information during sign-up instead
of applying as individual.

If you decide to register, I will be grateful for your comments on the
usability and eventual bottlenecks you encountered, and ideas on the
Roster of Experts feature.

Thank you in advance,

Kremena Gotcheva
Consultant, The World Bank
e-mail infom@bcci.bg

[2] http://www.gfptt.org/Entities/Tutorial.aspx
[3] http://www.gfptt.org/Entities/PartnerIntro.aspx

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