• 11 January 2001 : Korea and China join Pan-Asian E-Commerce Alliance

      Korea Trade Network (KTNET) and Infoshare Information Technology Development Co (IITD), a subsidiary of China International Electronic Commerce Centre, signed an agreement today to join the three founding members of the Pan-Asian E-Commerce Alliance. This initiative to facilitate trade documentation and streamline workflow across countries will see more markets connected to one another, giving the region’s economy a further boost in e-commerce.

      The first regional e-commerce alliance in Asia was formed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 5 July 2000 in Hongkong by three e-commerce service providers: Singapore Network Services Pte Ltd (SNS), TRADELINK Electronic Commerce Ltd (Hongkong) and TRADE-VAN Information Services Co (Taiwan).

      The establishment of this cross-border partnership drew wide interest among other Asian neighbours, leading to the addition of two additional members. China and Korea have joined the alliance’s steering and working committees, to work towards the development of secured and trusted cross-border transactions.

      “It has been only six months since the idea of a Pan-Asian E-Commerce Alliance was mooted. I am very pleased that we have already grown to five members. I am sure the formation of the Alliance will continue to be a powerful magnet that attracts more new members and business partners,” said Mr Justin Yue, Chief Executive Officer of TRADELINK and Chairman of the Alliance.”

      Businesses trading across these countries can look forward to: less paper work in document submission and cross-border trade approvals; ready acceptance of cross-border certification policy; more secured transactions over the web, time and cost savings in dealing with the Alliance as a single point of contact. A pilot run will take place in the first quarter of 2002.

      “For the business community in Singapore which deals with cross border trading , this is another step forward to doing businesses with ease and efficiency not just within Singapore, but across the region,” said Mr V Mathivanan, Chief Executive Officer of SNS and host of the 3rd committee meeting.

      During the 3rd steering committee meeting held in Singapore on 8 and 9 January 2001 and hosted by SNS, significant progress were reported by the Working Group in the following areas:

      • 1. Secure cross-border transaction services

        The committee endorsed the Working Group’s recommendation on documentation format, connectivity and address routing approach. This means document exchange of packing list and invoices, among others, will be smooth and secured, enabling the user to apply for permits electronically in participating countries with ease. Currently, any trade-related document across the borders are filed by hard copy, and transacted via mail or fax.

      • 2. Mutual recognition of public key infrastructure (PKI)

        A study towards the setting up of a Certificate Policy Authority will be commissioned as a framework for the mutual recognition of PKI. An infrastructure to support both end-to-end digital signatures as well as digital signatures between the service providers will also be set up. A Singapore logistics company, for example, will be able to file document claims electronically through SNS to its shipping company in Korea through KTNET, with the necessary authentication, encryption and digital certification that are recognized and accepted by both local government authorities. “In establishing the Working Groups under the policy of the Pan Asian E-Commerce Alliance, we look forward to setting up an infrastructure of ‘security, quality and efficiency’ to improve clients’ competitiveness,” said Dr Jenn-Nan Chen, President of TRADE-VAN.

      • 3. Establishment of Pan-Asian portal

        A business portal is being developed by the Alliance. The initial phase of the portal will promote connectivity between buyers from overseas with customers of the Alliance members through the consolidation of key customer information including products and services. “Think of it as a virtual business park. Apart from trading, the portal will provide ready information and leads on businesses for businesses in the Asia Pacific. Web features such as information searches, credit rating of businesses, e-commerce channels will also be made available to any user. We are confident that we will see a high traffic of businesses seeking out partnerships and various deals through the Alliance’s portal,” said Mr Mathivanan.

      With the implementation of the Pan-Asian Alliance projects in 2002, the five partners can expect to see a surge in the number of transactions, which currently run into tens of thousands every day. Total membership of the parties exceeds 115,000 organizations, representing almost every company in the trading community of the five markets. Currently, SNS has 25,000 members, TRADELINK 53,000, TRADE-VAN 15,000, KTNET 12,000, and IITD has 10,000.

      “The true Pan-Asian marketplace is yet to be. With the Alliance formation, and the potential for it to grow to include other countries, we will see the realization of that dream,” added Mr Mathivanan.