Government???s E-Commerce Thrust

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More Barbadian businesses are engaging in economic activity at the ???click of a mouse’; a move which should lead to increased profits and market-share in the global arena for business persons.

That was the word from E-Commerce Development Officer with the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), Chesterfield Coppin, who announced stepped-up efforts by his department, to educate entrepreneurs about the economic benefits of using e-commerce.

In a recent interview with the BGIS, Mr. Coppin said even though some businesses were already involved in this activity, more enterprises are being urged to utilise the internet to "make their products available globally, via the internet on a 24-hour basis".

He said: "There are a number of businesses and individuals in Barbados who are involved in e-commerce activities on a daily basis. These activities, which involve the buying and selling of products and services on-line, can result in considerable benefits to those involved."

To maintain consumers’ confidence in using the e-commerce platform, the Officer alluded to the enactment of the Electronic Transaction Act Cap 308B which makes provision for the legal recognition of electronic business transactions.??

With the Computer Misuse Act of 2005 already in use to safeguard computer systems from hackers, Mr. Coppin also disclosed that a Data Protection Bill would be introduced to protect consumers’ personal data being infiltrated by online predators.

Despite the benefits of utilising e-commerce, he however, identified some of the drawbacks to fully embracing the new technological revolution. These, he noted, included the lack of an adequate framework for the clearance of e-commerce transactions through the local banking system and the high cost of intra-regional shipping. In addition, the official pointed to the absence of a telecommunications environment that provides low-cost, high-speed internet access as another constraint.

jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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