ROSEAU, Dominica -- The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Export development Unit (OECS-EDU) is conducting e-business workshops which incorporate an e-commerce diagnostic assessment of participating firms from around the OECS member states.
Given the small size of most Caribbean firms, and the very limited capital base, experts for the OECS EDU say e-commerce provides opportunities for reaching customers in distant markets without the cost of establishment or the use of intermediaries.
The objective of the workshop is to introduce the businesses to available opportunities to utilize e-business and conduct an e-commerce assessment of these businesses, which will inform an overall OECS e-business strategy with a focused approach to e-commerce. It will draw upon the data collected from a questionnaire and actual e-commerce work by firms participating in the exercise.
This will allow the OECS to review existing use of e-commerce, determine the scope for industry-based business-to-business networking and collaborative technological sharing solutions as part of a market–based, market-driven approach to ensure practical, implementable solutions in this area of business development.
It is therefore necessary to develop this platform to enable enterprises within the OECS to become more competitive and cost-effective in the global marketplace.
As a key strategy to enhancing the competitiveness of firms, the OECS-EDU has developed a comprehensive programme over the period of the 10th EDF to place e-commerce as a key cornerstone to facilitating trade and increasing the profitability of firms in the region.
The OECS Authority, by its January 2012 endorsement of the suite of harmonized pieces of electronic legislation, has recognised the need to develop appropriate e-business, e-commerce, and technology regulatory regimes and framework.
The introduction to e-business and e-commerce will focus on topics such as:
• Online branding (domain name);
• Marketing and advertising – advertising, direct marketing, search engine optimization (SEO);
• E- transactions, including digital signature, terms of service, payment technology, e-payment, etc;
• Legal framework.
Workshops have already been conducted in Anguilla, St Kitts and Nevis, as well as Antigua and Barbuda, Other seminars are to be held in the following OECS member states: June 26 – 27 Saint Lucia, June 30 – July 1 St Vincent and the Grenadines, July 3 – 4 Grenada and July 8 – 9 Dominica.