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IFC RELEASES DISCUSSION PAPER ON CORPORATIONS’ USE OF THE INTERNET IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 1998 --- Internet use in developing countries is extensive but not yet comparable to levels of use in developed countries, the International Finance Corporation finds in a new discussion paper, "Corporations’ Use of the Internet in Developing Countries."
The study, based on a sample of IFC client companies in 15 developing countries, focuses on corporate use of the Internet. The research, which was conducted by the Economics Department of IFC, was prompted by media reports about specific cases of Internet use in developing countries and the potential gains that could result from greater Internet availability. The report provides data on business use of the Internet.
Although a growing number of developing country firms use the Internet, operational use of it is much less pervasive than in developed countries because employees have only limited Internet access.
Companies in developing countries use the Internet mainly for e-mail, but they transmit documents or data by e-mail far less than their counterparts in industrialized countries. This may reflect a smaller corporate network with fewer businesses electronically connected in the developing world. It may also reflect concerns about Internet security.
In anticipation of wider Internet use, many companies in developing countries have already introduced websites and use the Internet extensively for data searches.
For more information or to request a copy of this publication, please contact Robert Miller at (202) 473-6685.