25 January 2006

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Business Today

Kick-Start: growing e-Business

The commitment to progress towards a more advanced e-Business society has been extended by the Ministry for Investment, Industry and Information Technology (MIIIT) with the launch of the Kick-Start Document.
Kick-start is a timely initiative which provides a clear guide to the need of increasing e-Business in Malta. The initiatives contained in the programme seek to equip the local business community with the resources that enable utilisation of technology to enhance operations within the local market and to penetrate emerging global markets.
In line with the progress achieved in the implementation of this programme, the 10 National Information Society Council (NISCO) will be dedicated exclusively to the e-Business theme. The event will be held on Friday 27 January at the Westin Dragonara Resort in St. Julians.
NISCO brings together more than 50 stakeholders from public, private entities and civic society that share a common interest in ICT and the advancement of the ‘Information Society’. The Council meets every two months and is chaired by Austin Gatt, minister for investment, industry and information technology.
The meeting will also be addressed by Minister for Competitiveness and Communications Censu Galea and by Leo Brincat, shadow minister for information technology.
The seminar will feature key presentations on local developments in the field. The National Statistics Office (NSO) will be presenting the results of a survey on e-Business conducted amongst Maltese Enterprises in 2005. The survey, ‘Information Communication Technologies - Usage of Enterprises’ measures the extent to which Maltese enterprises have integrated ICT practices into their normal work routines.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers will present a recently concluded gap analysis commissioned by MIIIT as part of the ‘Kick-Start’ programme. The presentation will examine the issues faced by SMEs in Malta whilst proposing solutions addressing the elements that are necessary for e-Commerce activity.
The need for added legal certainty and the new e-Commerce Regulations will be the focus of a presentation by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA). The proposed e-Commerce regulations introduce measures strictly necessary to encourage undertakings to provide on-line services whilst ensuring that the rights of consumers are adequately protected.
MIIIT and Malta Enterprise will give account of the current projects being implemented on the lines of the Kick-Start programme and the existent e-Business support opportunities available to SMEs. Two case studies on local e-Business best practices will be presented by the Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, and Maltanet.
The general public is being invited to attend the 10 NISCO meeting. Reservations can be made by sending an email to nisco@gov.mt or phoning Ian Farrugia on 2559 8225 by Thursday 26 January. Copies of the ‘Kick-Start’ document may be downloaded from www.miti.gov.mt.

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