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Ministers discuss ways to boost regional e-trade

Commerce Ministers from across the GCC have agreed to form a committee to explore how to kickstart electronic trade across the region.

Commerce Ministers from across the GCC are discussing how to kickstart electronic trade in the region.

Meetings between ministers were taking place this week in Riyadh, where Dr. Hashim Yamani, Saudi Minister of Industry and Electricity and Acting Trade Minister, told journalists that a cross-border committee has been formed to explore ways of activating e-trade.

The committee is expected to look at issues like the skills shortage for IT and e-business professionals; the communications infrastructure needed to support e-trade; and trade legislation including the effect of customs irregularities on e-trade.

"They are at least recognising that there is a problem," said an industry observer close to the committee meeting. "Now we need urgent action."