Today Vietnam; tomorrow the world

Vietnam's private sector is about to gain access to international trade through a new platform that promises to provide an electronic marketplace for the country's 30,000 businesses.

VIETNAM - will provide Vietnamese companies with online tools to manage every aspect of cross-border trade, from discovery to delivery of products.

An initiative of the International Finance Corporation(IFC), (a cross border trade platform in China), and FPT (an Internet Service Provider in Vietnam), hopes to improve the ability of Vietnamese exporters to identify foreign markets and increase the amount of trade.

It is the first trade-based, e-commerce joint venture between a U.S. and a Vietnamese firm and will build export-import links between the two countries.

" will allow Vietnamese businesses, many of them SME exporters, to leap out of near-isolation and help them to join the global marketplace, establishing direct dealings with companies around the world," said Javed Hamid, director of IFC's East Asia-Pacific Department.

IFC provided US$300,000 in seed capital through the SME Capacity Building Facility, a program aimed at stimulating small and medium-sized companies in developing countries. IFC also helped with the early development of the venture through the Mekong Project Development Facility, an IFC-managed multidonor initiative to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam, Cambodia, and PDR Lao.