Country Framework Analysis for CARICOM States on their e-Readiness for e-Business
The following is the framework used in the exercise
to assess the e-readiness capabilities of CARICOM member States. This
Study was done in June/July 2001 by CFTC Consultant Mr Alwyn Didar Singh
|1. Infrastructural Framework Connectivity
This essentially examines the telecom infrastructure - the information highway
on which e-Commerce rests and develops. Since the main
issues here are access and the cost of connectivity the research
seeks to find out the level of PC penetration, total number
of Internet accounts and the pricing of some comparable connection plans
of the existing ISPs. Initiatives for any incubator type facilities are
- Availability of communications services, access centres and
- Existence of effective competition among communication and
- Affordability and reliability of network access including the cost
of service (against per capita/average wage)
- reliability of the electrical supply for e-Business critical
- Existence of any incubator facilities/IT Parks
|2. Policy Framework: e-Leadership and Participation
Particularly for developing economies, governmental interventions and strategies
are of crucial importance. The research asks if e-Business is
a national priority and if so, is there a formal policy and strategy and
who is leading the initiative.
If government is serious about this then what is the status
of IT in Government and plans to make public services available to citizens
- particularly for trade and commerce. Also, is the effort participative?
- Is e-Readiness a national priority?
- Is there a national IT/e-Commerce plan or strategy in existence?
- Is there an agency or ministry leading the initiative?
- What Progress is there with e-Government promotion of participation
- What partnerships exist between government and industry to improve
|3. Legal Framework: Security
E-Commerce transactions on the Internet, both commercial as well as for
e-Government, require a legal and regulatory framework. Dos the
country provide it. In case of dispute, is redress available and possible
through the existing legal establishment?
Are secure transactions possible and is cyber crime including IPRs being
addressed. These are the questions both investors and consumers want to
know before beginning e-Commerce businesses and transactions
- Is there Legal support for e-Commerce transactions?
- Strength of legal protection for the processing and storage of
- Strength and effectiveness of the legal and regulatory framework to
address and prosecute cyber crimes
- Progress in protecting intellectual property rights
- Measures of consumer protection and extent of efforts to protect
|4. Human capacity framework: e-Enabled Human Capital
As human capital is the most important resource in the new economy, what
is the availability of such professional for e-Business - both IT and
management trained. What are the training and educational institutes doing
about it and how much of IT-literacy is there in the country?
Are institutions supporting creative thinking and information sharing?
- Availability of e-professionals for e-business
- Skills and efficiency of the workforce
- Levels of IT teaching in the education system
- e-Literacy amongst citizens
- Is the institutional framework fostering a culture of local
creativity and information sharing within the society
|5. E-Business Environment: Enabling seamless e-Commerce
E-Business requires an enabling
environment that is dependant on several
inputs - IT services, banking and financial
framework, regulatory and investment
climate and a favourable and supportive
bureaucracy. These aspects are commented
upon in the study.
- The present status of the IT industry and of IT in industry
- The existence of an e-enabled financial framework to support
- Availability of venture capital for e-business
- Transparency and predictability of regulatory implementation,
openness of government, rule of law, etc
- Climate and policy for participation by foreign investors
|6. The International and Regional Framework
study seeks to examine the country international position vis a vis the
discussions regarding e-Commerce in international fora, especially
the WTO and the FTAA, as these are of much importance to the
Caribbean states. Also are there any regional or sub-regional
initiatives that the country desires to pursue
- Negotiating stnad on e-Commerce at the WTO/FTAA
- Regional and sub-regional collaboration