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Can Malaysia tame the Wild Wild Web?
By Amar Hakim
September 17, 1999

A survey carried out in May by research firm Techknowledge Asia on 300 Malaysian companies showed that 34 percent are planning to set up e-commerce programs within the year.

According to the study, a further 8 percent have already implemented or are in the process of implementing e-commerce into their businesses.

Indeed, these numbers are representative of the growing awareness among Malaysian business executives of the benefits which e-commerce could potentially bring to their bottom lines.

The basic premise, and promise, of e-commerce is the global market that it makes available, via electronic means, to companies that have largely been confined to supplying and servicing domestic and regional markets.

Undoubtedly, Malaysian companies' attraction to e-commerce has been fuelled by the prospects of an enlarged audience for their products and services.

International Data Corporation (IDC) also attributes a number of other factors to the growing interest in e-commerce.

"Several initiatives that have been launched have the potential to give Malaysian e-commerce a boost,"' said IDC Asia Pacific senior market analyst Richard Jacobson.

He cited the Malaysian Government's decision to establish a National Electronic Commerce Council (NECC) and the issuance of new Internet Service Provider (ISP) licenses as being among the highlights of local e-commerce.

The NECC has been entrusted to come out with a National Electronic Commerce Framework, which will serve as a guideline for developing public policy and private sector initiatives to promote the growth of e-commerce.

According to Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) executive chairman Dr Othman Yeop Abdullah, the draft framework will be tabled to the Government at the end of the month. The final version is expected to be made public by the year's end.

The release of the e-commerce framework will come after several postponements that stretch back over year.

The delay has come to no surprise for some who say that the NECC originally set up mainly for the purpose of formulating a Malaysian response to U.S. President Bill Clinton's Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, announced in July 1997.



Amar Hakim has been a technology journalist for three years. Email your comments to us.


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