OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

ebxml-mktg message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [Elist Home]

Subject: RE: [ebxml-mktg] ebXML and worldtrade.

David, et al.

Good article.  One of the key drivers behind the growth of capitalism in the developing world is the use of micro-credit, small loans to small businesses (e.g., artisans and farmers) who use the funds to buy raw materials and equipment.  Institutions such as the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh (http://www.grameen-info.org/) and many others that use Grameen as a model have had remarkable success, including lower than average default rates.

I would wager that an initiative that combines micro-credit with the ebXML framework, backed by relevant UN agencies, would have a good chance for success.  In this case, e-business based on ebXML could help open up markets and supply chains that the local business people (many of whom are women, especially in the poorest countries) could exploit.  

Alan Kotok
Editor, <E-Business*Standards*Today/>, http://www.disa.org/dailywire/
Co-author, ebXML: The New Global Standard (Sept 2001, New Riders), http://www.ebxmlbooks.com/

David RR Webber - XML ebusiness <Gnosis_@compuserve.com> wrote:

>An interesting article that shows how important
>providing open means to facilitate global trade
>In amongst all the technology arguments over
>XML syntax nuances, platform support,
>standards alignments, the
>broader mission remains the same.
>Enjoy, DW.
>Outlook / Distributing world wide wealth /
>Distributing world wide wealth
>E-commerce is bringing benefits to people in poor parts of the world, writes  Clint Witchalls
>While many e-commerce sites have gone the way of the dodo, news of a new boom is coming from an unlikely area. According to the latest report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), e-commerce is on the up in the developing world, and it is often women making the most of the technology.Elsouk, one of the initiatives cited in the UN's E-commerce And Development Report 2002, started life as a virtual shop where women from Morocco could sell handcrafted products online. When the site was set up in 1997, with the help of World Bank funding, many of the villages that produced the goods didn't even have electricity. "The women were very happy to be on what they called the 'television'," recalls Maurice Hazan, one of the founders of Elsouk.
>Things have come a long way since then. Not only do the villages have electricity, but the network of artisans has extended to Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon. Elsouk has even outgrown its current website and has recently been moved to www.southbazar.com. The original Elsouk site will eventually be used to sell organic spices from countries such as Madagascar.
>Is it easy to find a Web developer in countries such as Morocco? "Definitely," says Hazan. "There is an avail ability of Web skills in Morocco. But we also trained people from the villages and used their skills to develop some of the easier pages."
>The website has helped them make some valuable contacts with retailers abroad, and most of their business is now moving into the more lucrative B2B (business to business) arena. Some artisans use Elsouk to develop more B2B direct relations, and the whole production is sold directly to shops. Or a mixture of outlets is used: some sales direct to consumers, others to businesses.
>When I ask Hazan what his biggest hurdle has been, he doesn't hesitate. "Logistics and local regulations," he says. "To get these products to the final buyer, we had to use internal logistics from remote villages to send the goods to destinations such as Washington DC and Australia.
>Internet use worldwide shot up another 30% in 2001, and a whopping third of those new users live in the developing world. Even Africa, which had previously been slow to take up net services, saw a 30% rise in data traffic over the same period.
>This boom in internet and e-commerce in the developing world is thanks, in no small part, to Linus Torvalds. Nearly a third of the world's internet servers run on the open source Linux software that he helped  create. And, because the system is open for users to experiment with, programmers in developing countries are able to get a better understanding of how it works. They can collaborate with others around the world to customise its code.
>Another benefit comes from the parallel processing capabilities of the software. Most developing countries have easy access to PCs, but find it harder to get the capital for midrange and mainframe systems. A few PCs linked together in "farms" and running on Linux software can easily match the pace of a much more expensive system.
>The global expansion of IT has been a blessing for women in the developing world. In some Asian and Latin American countries women hold more than 20% of professional jobs in software services. But it's not just in software where opportunities lie. E-retailing gives women access to whole new markets.
>In India women have created an e-marketplace, IndiaShop, to sell saris,  cutting out the middlemen and taking a bigger cut for themselves.
>Santosh, a spokesperson for IndiaShop, told me of a woman from the village of Kancheepuram, who produces hand-woven silk saris - each one taking a month to make. "She used to sell them for a meagre price to a middleman," he says. "The middleman sells these saris to shops in Madras for a much higher price. By the time someone buys one of these saris from a retail outlet, the price has gone up tenfold.
>"We visited the woman in Kancheepuram and told her about our project. She was very enthusiastic . . . We posted the details on the IndiaShop website, and within about two to three months we were able to get an order for two saris for the weaver at a very good price. The weaver is very happy and is now regularly in touch with us."
>In Peru a network of housewives have set up a confectionery site called TortasPeru that sells to consumers. The initiative allows women with children to work from home and earn.
>For Maria del Carmen Vucetich, the founder of TortasPeru, the hardest part of setting up an e-business was in gaining trust. "A problem was the way our customers have to pay," says Vucetich. But that was in 1996. Methods of secure payment have improved and internet use has rocketed, thanks  largely to the low-cost public internet booths. "Delivering cakes makes me feel like [I'm] doing social work," says Vucetich. "I make people happy."
>However, the UN report warns that some places still have a long way to go. In Africa, in spite of a big increase in internet traffic, only one in 118 people uses the internet. Take out the top five countries by internet use, and only one in 440 has access. Poor infrastructure, education and lack of capital remain big obstacles on the road to e-commerce nirvana.
>But for developing countries looking for an IT role model, they need look no further than India and Costa Rica. Instead of just being the call centres of the world, they've moved into more lucrative e-services to boost their economies - e-banking, e-tourism, and e-commerce. In Costa Rica software service exports have grown from $16,000 in 1997 to $60m in 2000. India has almost doubled its IT services exports (mainly software and business process outsourcing) in the past two years - they now account for more than 16% of exports.
>And, as the Unctad report points out, the recipe for success can be replicated. All that is needed is a generous mixture of deregulation, a lowering of tariffs, an improvement in telecommunications and standards, and better payments facilities.
>The Guardian Weekly 20-3-0102, page 22

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [Elist Home]

Search: Match: Sort by:
Words: | Help

Powered by eList eXpress LLC