UK should learn e-business from Canada

The UK should learn e-commerce lessons from its international competitors and apply them in this country, according to Labour MP...

The UK should learn e-commerce lessons from its international competitors and apply them in this country, according to Labour MP Brian White.

White, a former systems analyst, told an IBM Computer Users' Association (CUA) e-commerce briefing that the successful strategies of countries such as Canada are a good example of how government and the private sector can work together.

"One of the key lessons from the Canadian experience is that it is appropriate for the Government to set the framework but not to do everything," he explained.

White believes governments have a crucial role to play in setting e-commerce goals but argues that individual companies also have a responsibility to meet these objectives.

He said everyone in Canada, including those from the public, private and voluntary sectors, knows what is expected of them and has signed up to the e-commerce framework.

Canada is widely regarded as a world leader in the delivery of electronic services. Earlier this year a study by management consultancy Accenture described it as having the world's leading e-government.

Canada's success is largely due to the establishment of a single portal for Canadian citizens, businesses and non-citizens to access services, the study said.

However, White acknowledged that the UK has already had some e-commerce success stories of its own.

"It is not just about learning from other countries, we have already done a lot of things in this country," he said. The development of electronic signatures through the Electronic Communications Act is a good example of the Government and business working together, he said.

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