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500 Percent E-Commerce Growth Predicted

Online retail sales are expected to grow by upwards of 500 percent over the next two years, according to more than half of those responding to a recent survey.

The United States Chamber of Commerce KPMG survey polled 150 policy makers, company executives and association heads.

Nineteen percent of the survey respondents predicted Internet sales, estimated to be $8 billion last year, would top $100 billion by 2001. Over half (53 percent) thought it would reach $50 billion to $100 billion and 21 percent thought sales would reach $25 billion to $50 billion.

Only 7 percent thought that Internet sales would remain lower than $25 billion over the two-year period.

The survey was conducted during a conference on E-Commerce Taxation at the United States Chamber of Commerce/National Chamber Foundation and sponsored by KPMG and Deloitte Touche.

Douglas Graham, a partner with KPMG's Financial Services Consulting practice, said he feels that "we are in a transitionary period right now, one in which there is heightened interest in adopting fair policy."

More than three-fourths (76 percent) of the survey respondents said, for the purposes of taxation, remote electronic transactions should be treated the same as catalogue sales.

And most (56 percent) thought a sensible legal, fiscal and regulatory framework that minimized government regulation could be adopted for the Internet.



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