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eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001
Despite the professed abundance in e-business opportunities, Jordanian businesses remain slow in adopting e-commerce methods in their everyday transactions, rendering the dealing space exclusively to traditional means of doing business. And although e-business transactions around the world are exceeding billions every year, the Arab world seems unable to move to cyberspace when doing business.

Many also agree that e-business could help Jordanian companies transcend Jordan's limited space and population and expand their businesses to regional and international levels. Yazan Hatamleh, general manager of Jordan's first e-marketplace, Tejari Jordan, said that the Jordanian market remains relatively small and that technology can help Jordanian businesses create and penetrate new markets and open representative offices in these markets without being physically there, which can tremendously reduce costs and increase efficiency.

"Jordan has made strides in developing its telecom and IT sectors...We can best use that in delving into new markets and overcoming the hurdles of doing business traditionally," he said.Economist Ghassan Moammar noted that the adoption of e-commerce solutions is still in its preliminary stages due to the fact that the technical infrastructure of the computing environment in Jordan has not been enhanced to the required levels. "This is easily witnessed by browsing the websites of many government institutions, most of which have been left without updating and cannot be relied upon anymore," he said.

Moammar told Jordan Business Monthly in an interview that e-commerce implies investing in long-term solutions in the e-industry; otherwise, Jordan will lose the benefits of this field very soon.

"Jordan needs more specialized solutions in e-commerce, such as e-payment and e-signatures. I urge the government to support e-procurement by establishing long term investments in this field."

JBM: What is e-procurement?

Y.H.: E-procurement is the term used to define the set of technology solutions which are used to support and enhance purchasing processes.

However, e-procurement is not just introducing or adding Internet tools to existing purchasing processes. It is the use of appropriate technology that produces more effective purchasing and supplier management systems.

JBM: What can e-procurement do for a company?

Y.H.: E-procurement is a powerful business tool. It streamlines and removes the paper from the paper-intensive purchasing process, making auditing and tracking much easier. It ensures that the right components and products are available for the company's workforce - when they need them, not before - because it can aggressively manage vendor behaviour.

Most importantly, it can significantly improve the company's bottom line, keeping in mind that a decrease in spending is easier and faster than getting the same increase through sales.

JBM: Despite a worldwide trend towards online procurement, the Arab world and Jordan seem slow to go with the stream. Why do you think that is the case?

Y.H.: Online procurement or e-procurement and all other online services require the right infrastructure and readiness, and that is still growing slowly compared to many other countries. On the other hand, the Arab world is not giving enough attention to the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) sector. They didn't realize the importance of ICT and the need to support it in all aspects, not only by creating departments and ministries, but by changing the laws to accept online transactions by opening up payment gateways, by providing funds, and by reducing taxes.

E-commerce and ICT can improve education, health, governance, and business; they are dramatically changing social and economic relationships, but unfortunately the Arab world, which stands to benefit most from the advances of the ICT revolution, is not giving enough attention and support to the ICT sector, which can really fill the needed gap. ICT in the Arab world is a challenge; however it can be looked at as a great opportunity. It is not too late yet.

JBM: What needs to be done in terms of informing businesses and the public about the importance of e-procurement?

Y.H.: We simply need support from the government; if the government starts to implement e-government initiatives as it promised earlier, we will be able to improve the e-procurement process since it is part of any e-government process.

Governments are the main drivers for any change or development in the society, not only in our region but all over the world. The government has an obligation and it needs to fulfill it before it's too late.

Moreover, e-procurement is part of e-commerce and e-business, which are among the most promising online applications, since it can offer new ways to participate in global markets, new possibilities of diversifying national economies, and new and better jobs for the young generation.

We also need to improve our communication skills by conducting more seminars, workshops, and educational initiatives to enhance awareness.

JBM: Jordan is a small country with a relatively small market...could e-procurement ever be suitable for us?

Y.H.: Jordan is a small country with a small market and therefore it needs to adopt e-procurement practices more than others to reduce the operational costs and enhance its competitiveness; e-procurement can help a lot SMEs (Small and Medium Establishment) become more competitive.

We conducted several studies about some Jordanian companies and organizations, and we realized the need to adopt the e-procurement practices to save costs, enhance efficiency, and to implement transparency. Moreover, e-procurement plays a vital role in adopting e-government practices, so the Jordanian government needs to pay special attention to this while introducing e-government, just like other governments have already done.

JBM: How can companies like Tejari Jordan help us move to the e-procurement sphere?

Y.H.: Tejari Jordan's mission is to maximize the business potential of our customers in Jordan by providing them with reliable, secure, and innovative online B2B services, enabling them to extend their reach to new markets and enhance their competitive standing.U

Our vision is to play a pioneering role in transforming Jordan's economy into an Internet-based trading environment, creating outstanding value for customers and increased returns on investment.

In the light of our mission and vision, we were able to help more than 200 Jordanian companies and organizations benefit from e-procurement and e-commerce in general, and we conducted many seminars and workshops about e-procurement and its value for our companies and organizations. Moreover, we trained many Jordanians in the use of e-procurement and we partner with some Jordanian associations, such as JIPA, to educate people and organizations about the importance of e-procurement and e-commerce at large. We have many plans and initiatives which we will be launching soon to enhance the awareness of e-procurement with several Jordanian entities, including some private universities.

JBM: Are there any countries in the Arab world that have the same business atmosphere as Jordan and have benefited from e-procurement?

Y.H.: The government of Dubai adopted e-procurement for all its departments and ministries, with substantial savings on direct and indirect purchasing costs, as well as speeding up the purchasing process from three weeks to just several days - and in some cases to hours - in addition to transparency, which is the most desirable goal for Arab governments today.

The results of adopting such policies are massive; look at what Dubai has achieved, how many foreign investors it attracts, and what citizens and business people think of it. In Jordan we need to reduce the cost of government purchasing, enhance trust and transparency, and improve the efficiency of the government.

JBM: Tell us about your company. How has it developed over the past year and do you have any new members?

Y.H.: Tejari is a Business-to-Business (B2B) e-marketplace that allows companies to buy and sell goods and services online. Through Tejari, buyers can find, compare, and procure products and services from the familiarity and convenience of their desktop Internet browser. Suppliers can list their products and services and sell them through online catalogs or auctions. Our vision is to enable the private and public sectors to realize the dramatic cost savings, greater efficiencies, and extended regional market reach which are facilitated by online procurement through Tejari.

Tejari has a large base of trading partners who have negotiated more than 35,000 online tenders valued at over $1.8 billion. In addition, buyers on Tejari have transacted more than 48,000 electronic purchase orders. This makes Tejari one of the fastest growing B2B e-marketplaces in the region. The range of commodities covered by Tejari is vast, including oil and gas, building and construction, health care, automotive, agriculture, information technology, engineering, electronics, office equipment, stationery, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

After the government of Dubai adopted e-government as a strategic move, Tejari originated as a sub-initiative in that move in order to facilitate the procurement for the government departments. Tejari has advanced quickly since then, acting independently in a phased approach to develop the e-procurement side of the e-government project.

JBM: Who are your members in Jordan?

Y.H.: We have more than 200 active members in Jordan, including banks like Jordan Kuwait Bank, Bank of Jordan, and Jordan Commercial Bank. Leading companies and organizations such as Aramex, Al Salam Group, JDS, Int@j, and Jordan Royal Geographic Center are also part of our network.

JBM: How do members feel about the company? Any feedback from them on how Tejari Jordan has helped them?

Y.H.: I will let our members talk about their experience with Tejari in Jordan and around the region.

Autor: Oula Farawati

Quelle: Zawya, 16.08.2005

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