A country with unskilled labor force and having limited access to computers, has a difficult task to keep up with the technology needed to engage in e-commerce business. Besides, the existing customs policy is also one of the problems for not conducting an effective business through electronic communication, an expert said on Thursday.

At a forum organized by the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Association, Ato Teshome Kebede, manager of hides and skins sub-sector in USAID Agro-business sector, said that small businesses will be beneficiaries from e-commerce if they have an access to technology and have the knowledge of how to run a cost-effective system and a favorable environment.

E-commerce is the act of the buying and selling of goods and services through electronic communication. Thus, according to Teshome, to engage in electronic business, there are some prerequisites that have to be satisfied. Teshome said that minimization of foreign trade control is one of the requirements because if there is control and guidance, e-commerce will not be effective.

"Besides, we have to provide infrastructure like encouraging the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Moreover, business must be transparent, legal and reliable in order to pass information consistently," he added.

According to him, developing countries can be beneficiaries from e-commerce since their major problem is pecuniary, and e-commerce has the power to overcome this financial issue. Similarly, small business will also be a beneficiary because it tackles the capacity issue that they face. Along with e-commerce, it is possible to establish a huge business without the need of huge investment. As a result, it is a virtual business that shows unprecedented turnover and a real rate of growth, according to Teshome.

Despite the problems that the county faced in achieving e-commerce, there is another chance and it is the right time to make a change. "The essence of being part of the digital revolution is to be there on time and to keep up with the dynamism," he added.

The Reporter