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B2B Outlook in 2004: A $7 Trillion Market

Worldwide B2B e-commerce is projected to surpass $7.29 trillion in 2004, and the North America region will account for 39 percent of the market with revenue of more than $2.84 trillion, according to a new report.

In 1999, worldwide B2B e-commerce reached $145 billion, and the North America region accounted for 63 percent of the market with revenue reaching $91 billion, according to the GartnerGroup research firm.

"Brick and mortar B2B commerce is increasingly international by nature, and the e-enablement of business will perpetuate this trend," said Leah Knight, principal analyst for GartnerGroup's e-Business Services worldwide. "The largest e-commerce players today are all U.S.-based companies, but most generate a significant percentage of revenue internationally."

The strongest regional growth in the B2B market will be found in Europe, GartnerGroup says. B2B revenue in Europe in 1999 totaled $31.8 billion. In 2004, the European B2B market will be more than $2.34 trillion.

"Already we're seeing some of the largest of the European companies such as BMW, Philips, KLM, Swissair, British Telecom and Deutsche Telekom aggressively adopting B2B e-commerce," said Petra Gartzen, principal analyst for GartnerGroup's e-Business Services Europe. "Now that this has the approval of the big companies, there's no stopping the tidal wave."

Because of the recession the Asia/Pacific region experienced recently, this region has been slower to adapt B2B e-commerce practices. In 1999, Asia/Pacific B2B revenue totaled $9.2 billion, and by 2004 the region will have B2B e-commerce revenue of $992 billion, the company predicts.

In 1999, the Latin America B2B e-commerce market reached $1 billion, and in 2004 the market will total $124 billion.

"Primarily, some large firms are already benefiting from their early B2B setups in Latin America. In the next two years, we expect full deployment of B2B e-commerce by the remaining large firms," said Luis Anavitarte, director of Latin America research for GartnerGroup's Dataquest.

"In addition, medium- and small-size enterprises are understanding the value of B2B e-commerce, and they are starting to create B2B platforms as well."

The impact of e-market makers and the evolving business models surrounding the global B2B e-commerce market will be explored in an ongoing basis in GartnerGroup's soon-to-be-released suite of B2B e-Market Makers advisory services.