World's First '-Trade Highway'Opens

Inauguration of Ubiquitous Trade Hub Infrastructure Held

Korea has become the world's first country to be fitted with a ubiquitous trade system through which all trade affairs can be processed from any place where the Internet is available.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) held a ceremony to inaugurate the u-Trade Hub, a paperless trade service jointly developed by the government and private sectors, on July 29 at the Seoul InterContinental Hotel.
Among those on hand at the ceremony were Minister of Knowledge Economy Lee Youn-ho; Lee Hee-beom, chairman of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA); Shin Dong-shik, president of KTNET; Hur Yong-suk, commissioner of the Korea Customs Service; Suh Jung-wook, chairman of the e-Trade Facilitation Committee; Cho Hwan-eik, president of k otra; Peter Rowe, Australian Amb. to Korea; and Choo Chin-woo, chairman of Sajo.
The u-Trade Hub, operated by KTNET, allows such services as e-NEGO, e-B/L (Bill of Lading), and ownership and logistics management services.
Trade transactions have so far been made on individual networks. Large-sized corporations have had to depend on limited space on lines leased from such telecoms as KT to exchange trade-related documents.
With the opening of the u-Trade Hub, not only large-sized corporations but also SMEs are now engaged in trade transactions exchanging trade-related papers regardless of space and time.
The newly-opened trade system is composed of five portal services -- trade, logistics, customs clearance, marketing and banking. The most eye-catching service is the trade portal that introduces the world's first e-NEGO service.
Via the e-NEGO service, an exporter can receive a remittance of trade payments from his or her bank after sending eight electronic documents, including an invoice and an importer certificate to the bank. In the past, exporters had to visit banks in person to receive export payments.
An MKE official said the u-Trade Hub not only makes it easy for exporters to receive trade payments from banks, but also cuts down on incidental expenses exporters have to shoulder in presenting the necessary documents. The e-Documents they use are put in an e-document depository to retrieve anytime they are needed, he said.
Exporters can save on the consulting fees they previously had to pay for the guidance of customs clearance by using the new customs clearance service portal.
The successful implementation of the u-Trade Hub is owed to the concerted efforts of the government and private sectors to build an "invisible trade highway."The ministry has pushed ahead with three projects to build the e-Trade infrastructure since 2003. In 2005, it succeeded in the development of the world's first e-L/C distribution service system.
In cooperation with KTNET, the MKE plans to continue to upgrade the u-Trade Hub. The ministry decided to introduce advanced e-trade services based on the latest IT technologies, including a Ubiquitous Sensor Network (USN) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) while distributing solutions for corporate networks.
KTNET is a leader in the e-Commerce field, playing an essential role in paperless trade, seamless integration and trade competition.
KTNET, established in 1991 through the sole investment of KITA, has been recognized for its devotion to realizing paperless trade and playing a leading role in reducing auxiliary trade expenses through digitalization of an EDI-type system and the online distribution of about 300 kinds of export/import documents.
The company has been upgrading its technologies and security systems for operating the national trade network so that trading companies can process trade-related operations ranging from the exploration of business partners to negotiations, settlement of payments, customs, tariff refunds and logistics.
KTNET is striving to achieve growth with its client companies by providing them with services tailored to meet their needs without interruption, around the clock, 365 days a year. The company is accelerating its efforts to upgrade its services and tap new businesses based on the development of the large-scale trade network and next-generation technologies with the goal of becoming a world-class corporation by 2011.
KTNET is an e-Commerce institution in the export/import business community comprising client firms and trade-related organizations, including trading firms, banks, customs companies, shipping companies, insurers, airlines, forwarders and bonded sheds. The company aims to reposition itself as one of the world's largest trade communities. nw

Celebrities, including Minister of Knowledge Economy Lee Youn-ho; Lee Hee-beom, chairman of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA); Shin Dong-shik, president of KTNET, are on hand at a ceremony to inaugurate the u-Trade Hu.

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