ROSEAU, Dominica -- The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Export Development Unit will resume its e-business workshops for firms in the region during the week of August 26, 2014. Workshops will be conducted in Montserrat on August 26 and in the British Virgin Islands on August 28.
The EDU workshops in e-business will incorporate an e-commerce diagnostic assessment of participating firms from around the OECS member states.
The process involves an audit of the firms’ knowledge and use of e-commerce and other e-business tools by using a questionnaire to collect data from the firms. This activity will also involve a basic introduction to e-business and e-commerce.
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 the 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.
The introduction to e-business and e-commerce will focus on topics such as:
● Online branding (domain name)
● Website development and hosting
● Marketing and advertising – advertising, direct marketing, search engines optimization (SEO)
● E-transactions including digital signature, terms of service, payment technology, e-payment
● Consumer privacy (data protection);
The OECS EDU says, given the small size of most Caribbean firms, and the very limited capital base, e-commerce provides opportunities for reaching customers in distant markets without the cost of establishment or the use of intermediaries. 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-Export Development Unit has developed this 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.