Fri, May 23, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Second phase of IT project is launched

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The second phase of a government program to narrow the digital divide within small companies is set to create NT$12 billion (US$390 million) in business opportunities until 2011, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

“The program will help build digitalized facilities for 140,000 small companies and form 160 industry clusters of e-commerce in a bid to advance their e-marketing and make bigger profits,” said Yeh Yun-lung (葉雲龍), deputy director-general of the ministry’s Small and Medium Enterprises Administration, which operates the program.

Yeh said small companies are those that employ 20 employees or fewer.

“Most of those companies do not have enough digital ability to improve their businesses,” he said.

The ministry said that in combating the digital divide in less-developed counties, the goal of the program is in line with the “12 Major Public Construction Projects” program designed to balance the nation’s regional development.

The program would accomplish a “clustering effect” that would help small businesses to prosper by working with neighboring alliances, Yeh said.

He said, for instance, that a hot spring hotel could gain more customers by cooperating with restaurants and shops nearby to form a tourist resort.

The first phase of the program created NT$4.3 billion in business opportunities, the ministry said.

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