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Hong Kong Plans Integrated Multi-Modal Digital Trading System

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

19 November 2002

Consultancy group Accenture is due to deliver its government-commissioned proposals for a Digital Trade Transport Network (DTTN) for Hong Kong's Secretary for Industry, Commerce and Technology, Henry Tang Ying-yen, this week - but the firm has been upstaged by a coalition of the SAR's trading and logistics firms which is offering an alternative it says would be cheaper and quicker to develop.

Accenture's study, which is said to have cost HK$5m, is thought to recommend a 'green-field' solution built from scratch, while the trading consortium says it can build on existing components and systems.

"What we put to secretary Tang is that we have the technology already for the DTTN. It does not have to be a separate entity developed from scratch which the Accenture report implicitly suggests," a coalition source told the South China Morning Post. "Our proposal would greatly reduce the government's need to allocate extra funds for the project, as well as the time it would take to bring it to market. I think everyone in the industry knows we need the DTTN as quickly as possible."

The newspaper speculates that the coalition would have to include Tradelink, Hongkong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl), Logistics Information Network Enterprise (LINE) and OnePort. Between them, these organisations dominate existing attempts to offer trading and logistics systems on-line.

An earlier report told the Government that it had to set up a DTTN to co-ordinate multi-modal trading flows, but the Accenture solution is reckoned to take three to five years to put in place at a cost of between HK$1 to $3 billion. The coalition says its alternative proposal could be up and running "by the second half of next year" at a cost of HK$120 million in the first two years, and would include a financial procurement element, something which is supposedly not included in the Accenture plan.

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