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Singapore To Set Up E-Commerce Institute

Singapore will set up an e-commerce institute as early as the first quarter next year to train more manpower to meet future industry demand, a member of parliament said this week.

The institute will be run by non-profit organization CommerceNet Singapore Ltd.

The move is part of the findings of a new study, carried out by CommerceNet and a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) research unit, aimed at promoting e-commerce in Singapore.

"The institute will teach skills at a technical as well as the management level. Hopefully it can be set up in the first quarter of next year," MP Toh See Kiat said at a press conference.

CommerceNet, which will release details of its courses later, is now working with universities and polytechnics here on how to establish itself. There are also plans to carry out industrial attachments with some of CommerceNet's corporate members like Compaq Computer Corp. and Visa International in Asia Pacific.

The survey reached out to about 100 senior executives from four key segments of the electronic commerce industry such as business-to-business, on-line retailers, IT vendors, and e-commerce solution providers.

NTU Professor Roger Debreceny, who presented the results of the survey, said those surveyed felt that the private sector would have to lead in promoting Singapore as an e-commerce hub.

He also said participants asked if there were suitable models for local companies to emulate in terms of implementing e-commerce. He added that few examples existed because e-commerce is just beginning to take off in Singapore.

At the same time, Singapore Post and security services company Cisco have signed a joint venture to make transactions on the Internet tighter and more reliable.

Both companies said they will set up ID Security and Authentication For E-Commerce (ID.Safe) to provide services such as issuing renewal of digital certificates for the authentication of people and businesses on the Internet.

Under the deal, Cisco will manage the back-end IT infrastructure, which it already does in providing security solutions to other companies. Singapore Post will manage the front-end, using its extensive network of post offices to provide the convenience and accessibility for users who need to personally apply for digital certificates to secure high-value, high-risk transactions.



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