| Korea Forges Industry Alliance on Electronic Commerce
June 29, 1998 (SEOUL) -- Korea's leading electronics companies
forged an alliance to establish domestic standards for electronic
|According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MoCIE),
industry executives signed a collective agreement earlier in June
on a broad range of collaborations to establish a common digital
database from research and development, purchasing and supply,
marketing and servicing of products and inventory management.
The alliance will be aimed at creating a virtual enterprise as the
focus for enterprise integration by 2000 under the ELECTROPIA
initiatives that have been promoted since January 1997.
Participating companies include Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.,
Hyundai Electronics Industries Co., Ltd., LG Electronics Inc. and
Daewoo Electronics Co., Ltd.
In addition, Samsung SDS Co., Hyundai Information Technology Co., LG
-EDS Systems Inc. and Daewoo Information Systems Co. will provide
systems support. The companies already developed a joint pilot
system for electronic commerce in December 1997.
The new agreement calls for the deployment of the electronic data
interchange (EDI) system and the creation of electronic shopping
malls within the ELECTROPIA consortium by 1999, with a goal of
establishing industry-wide electronic commerce standards by 2000.
The system will be based on what is known as CALS (Commerce at Light
Speed), an advanced format of the Computer-Aided Logistics Support
developed by the U.S. Department of Defense.
ELECTROPIA will become a prototype of electronic commerce in Korea, as more than
90 percent of small- and medium-sized firms are seeking to use the
Internet for their marketing and sales activities.
MoCIE officials said Korean companies will benefit from ELCTROPIA
technology, with combined savings of an annual 600 billion won (US$
430 million) in import substitutions, product-to-market time and
Electronic commerce legislation is also on the horizon. MoCIE is
seeking the enactment of a "Basic Law for Electronic Commerce" this
year in line with international efforts to set up global standards
on trade taking place through new media such as the Internet. On
May 26, it proposed a set of guidelines for the electronic commerce
legislation covering tariffs, taxation, intellectual property
rights protection and privacy in the digital trade environment.
The ministry proposal was along the lines of current international
discussions on electronic commerce, including no tariffs on online
goods such as computer software and multimedia contents, digital
signatures and authentication and a strengthening of protection of
Korea is currently taking part in talks on electronic commerce under
the auspices of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum
and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD
). The OECD ministerial-level conference scheduled to be held this
October in Ottawa is expected to have a major policy impact on
Korea's electronic commerce development.
Separately, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) is
crafting a bill to legalize digital signatures. If the bill becomes
a law as scheduled this year, all digital commercial documents with
certified signatures will carry the same legal effect as hard
copies used in real transactions.
Keyword: Electronic Commerce in Korea
The National Computerization Agency estimates the volume of
electronic commerce in Korea will increase from 6,285 million won
(US$4.5 million) in 1997 to 61,396 million won (US$44 million) in 20
00. The number of Internet users in the country will grow from 1.25
million to 4.2 million during the same period. (return to news)
(James Lim, Asia BizTech Correspondent)