• 5 July 2000 : Hong Kong Allies with Singapore and Taiwan to form First Regional e-Commerce Alliance in Asia

    The first regional e-commerce alliance in Asia, connecting the markets of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore was formed today with the signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between three government-backed e-commerce facilitators: TRADELINK Electronic Commerce Ltd. of Hong Kong, Singapore Network Services Pte. Ltd., and TRADE-VAN Information Services Co. of Taiwan.

    The MOU covers the following key initiatives:

    • The mutual recognition of digital certificates issued by their Certificate Authorities for use in electronic documents exchanged among its members.
    • The cross-boarder marketing and interconnecting of services to create a pan-Asian portal.
    • Staff exchange programme to share experience and strenghten understanding and co-operation among the parties.

    “There has always been a significant volume of trade among Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore,” said Mr. Justin Yue, Chief Executive Officer of TRADELINK. “We believe that by facilitating communications between our members, this alliance will stimulate greater financial and time efficiencies and improve security for electronic commerce between our members.”

    “It is hoped that the interconnection of the three networks will create a one-stop shop for completing trade document exchanges,” said Dr. Ray Yang, President of TRADE-VAN. “In addition, security will improve with mutual recognition of each part’s digital certificates with electronic keys.”

    “As leading ASPs in their own country, the three parties bring to the alliance their strengths and wealth of experience and expertise where the sum of the part is greater than the whole . This will help to leapfrog the development of e-commerce in Asia,” said Mr. V. Mathivanan, Chief Executive Officer of SNS.

    “When the Pan-Asia portal is ready, businesses can look forward to a virtual business park where they can tap on information, do checks on potential partners in Asia through information searches and credit rating of businesses, and then connect and communicate with prospects in one place,” he added.

    Workgroups comprising marketing and technical members of the three companies have been formed to look into the development and implementation of the initiatives.

    The three e-commerce networks are already handling tens of thousand transactions everyday in the region. The total current membership of the parties exceeds 90,000 organisations, representing almost every company in the trading community of the three markets. Currently TRADELINK has 51,000 members, SNS has 25,000 and TRADE-VAN 14,000. The three parties are confident that the MOU will serve as a powerful magnet strengthening ties between members in each market, and between the three markets. With importers, exporters and shipping companies, banks and insurance companies now linked to an intergrated arena of electronic commerce, all of their members look set to benefit. The gain of the alliance should not be limited to the three markets. Ultimately the potential is there to connect all major Asian markets.