The Commonwealth is to create its own business-to-business electronic marketplace spanning 54 countries.
The project, a venture between the Commonwealth Business Council and procurement specialist Elcom.com, is expected to go live this September, and will involve extensive use of digital certificates.
The Commonwealth Business Council believes the marketplace could become one of the world's biggest electronic markets, as the Commonwealth already generates a quarter of the world's trade, worth about $2 trillion.
In the first phase, a trusted e-procurement market will be established by Elcom to allow members of 38 British chambers of commerce to buy products and services, participating at a series of levels. These could range from a base level presence or an electronic catalogue, through to a fully automated e-procurement system.
The marketplace hopes the first phase will be ready in time for the Commonwealth Business Forum in London from 18-20 September, with future progress likely to be scheduled around future Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings.
The digital certificate expertise is likely to come from KPMG.