PALAU E-COMMERCE READINESS TO BE ASSESSED

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By Bernadette Carreon

KOROR, Palau (December 31, 2001 - Palau Horizon/PINA Nius Online)---Palau will be among the nations in the Pacific that will be assessed for electronic commerce preparedness.

This could help the government in its bid for a $16 million grant from Japan to finance the installation of modern telecommunications facilities.

Chief of Staff in the President's Office, Billy Kuartei, said the Asian Development Bank has approved $10 million to conduct a study of the Pacific region's readiness for e-commerce and determine the status of each country's Internet access.

Palau is seeking funding from Japan to establish a satellite communications network that will cover the Micronesian region.

The new technology would serve to develop education programs, health care services, and e-commerce opportunities in Palau, the Federates States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

The government also noted in its proposal that the installation of the communication system would greatly help the economy.

Kuartei said he expects the Asian Development Bank study to provide an accurate picture of the country's e-commerce capabilities.

It will be a great boost to Palau's proposal to Japan, he said.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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