Publication: A Regional Virtual Market Place for Middle East and North Africa : Milestone Report

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World Bank
The Regional Virtual Market Place (RVMP) is an innovative project aiming at fostering regional economic growth and integration in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as its integration with the rest of the world. In concrete terms, the RVMP will link buyers and sellers from the MENA region through an electronic platform, a website. The clients of such a platform would be firms that cannot afford to market their products abroad (participation to trade fairs, advertising, and hiring export consultants) or to conduct costly market research to identify business opportunities. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are considered to be the main target of this initiative. A RVMP will be the adequate tool to promote their products, at low cost, in international markets and learn about clients expectations through their posted requests (for instance: a pharmaceutical SME in Belgium looking for some North African plants' oil extracts with some specific characteristics will be able to post a request through the platform). This RVMP would be likely to address the persistent market failure of access to markets by providing a virtual platform for North-South and South-South trade. It will also address information asymmetries by providing the sellers with information about the buyers' expectations and the buyers with information about the seller's trustworthiness (through ratings provided by previous buyers, similar to the eBay system, or trustworthy national institutions like chambers of commerce).
World Bank. 2010. A Regional Virtual Market Place for Middle East and North Africa : Milestone Report. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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