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.
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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.