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China to Host First APEC E-commerce Fair
The first Asia Pacific Cooperation (APEC) electronic-commerce (E-commerce) fair has been slated at April 24-28 of 2003 in Yantai, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province, an official of the organizing committee told Xinhua in Beijing Monday.

With "E-commerce and Economic Globalization" as its theme, the fair will be jointly held by APEC, China's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, China's Ministry of Information Industry and the People's Government of Shandong Province.

The fair, aiming to promote the investment and cooperation on E-commerce among APEC members, will fully showcase the latest achievements in IT industry and E-commerce models in APEC member economies.

Participants include governmental organizations, intermediary agencies, multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutes and high-tech zones from APEC members.

The fair will cover four parts: a high level forum on E-commerce, a seminar for mayors on E-government, bilateral and multilateral cooperation and investment fair on E-commerce technology and exhibition on E-commerce technology and related products.

"APEC has suggested its members adopting the paperless trade since 1998, and the coming E-commerce fair will redound to narrow the gap of information technology between developed and developing members," said Long Yongtu, vice-minister of foreign trade and economic cooperation, at the press release.

In order to promote E-commerce in the region, APEC established a special committee on E-commerce, and a blueprint for action on E-commerce was endorsed in 1998. In October 2001 the informal summit of APEC approved the Digital Society Strategic Frame, which called on the application and cooperation of E-commerce among the members.

The host city Yantai is the first city taking part in the affairs of APEC in China, which has successfully held the Second APEC International Trade Fair, the Second APEC Small Medium-sized Enterprise Technology Exchange Conference and Exhibition Fair and the Second APEC Investment Mart since 1997.

(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2002)

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