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    Ecuador Signs Up For 'E-Trade Bridge'


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2003

    Ecuador will become the 25th country to join ITC's E-Trade Bridge Programme since it was launched in May 2002.

    ITC is organizing a 'Kick-Off' meeting to launch the programme (Quito, 17-19 November 2003), in cooperation with its national partner agency, Fundación Esquel. This non-governmental organization has been active in improving the lives of the poor through information and communications technology (ICT).

    Harness technology for development

    The E-Trade Bridge Programme assists small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to harness ICT to improve their international competitiveness. The Kick-Off meeting helps create a national e-trade action plan based on intense discussions between all the relevant stakeholders, including SMEs, trade promotion agencies, ICT service providers, training institutions and government ministries. Sponsors of the meeting include Cisco Academy, the United States Department of Commerce, Alfred University (New York, USA) and a wide range of locally-based higher education institutions.

    For the first time, ITC will launch the Kick-Off in parallel with an academic conference on e-business, the International Business Interface Conference. The aim of running sessions together is to improve the academic community's response to aspiring e-traders, resulting in research and skills development programmes that are grounded in the challenges facing small exporters.

    For more information on the services under the E-Trade Bridge Programme, contact etradebridge@intracen.org or visit ITC's web site (http://www.intracen.org). To find out more about the other agencies involved in the Ecuador Kick-Off meeting, visit:
    http://www.esquel.org.ec/main.htm and