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Singapore�s BarterXchange Has Ambitious Plans

According to Dr. Lee Oi Kum, the Executive Chairman of BarterXchange Singapore, they are well-positioned to become a major player and commercial barter hub in Asia. �Singapore is the regional headquarters for a number of international companies in addition to having a well-developed freight and logistics system in place, so vital for international commerce,� she explained.

Founded in 2003, the Asian exchange is ambitiously moving forward to attain that position as a barter hub in Singapore. Dr. Lee wants to have the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) presence expanded in Asia too, suggesting the organization set-up a local certifying body there.

IRTA�s Executive Director Krista Vardabash and IRTA�s President Lois Dale recently visited with Dr. Lee and spoke at the Global Entrepolis Singapore (GES) 2006 Conference, earlier this month.

Vardabash said the trip to Asia was both a unique and valuable one, �We don�t often get the opportunity to speak directly to business owners (15,000 businesses from throughout Asia attended GES) since our member exchanges have the primary contact with them...so this opportunity to educate a wide audience was really special.�

Dr. Lee felt the significance as well, �Having IRTA�s Executive Director and President to present the history and successes of barter exchanges in North America really got our business community thinking about this opportunity in a different way. They�re beginning to recognize commercial barter as the smart business practice it is, and are starting to understand that many other businesses use this strategy to succeed.�

Lois Dale, sees great possibilities for the exchange industry in Asia. �It makes sense for the future exchange community to know that IRTA is here to promote best practices and credentials, as well as providing a place for exchange owners to meet and learn from one another.�

Dr. Lee has hired Ian Jones, a founding partner of �My Business Mates,� to train her barter brokers. Their responsibilities will be to facilitate the transactions among her members, as well as educate and explain the concept to the Singapore business community of small and medium business enterprises (SMEs).

Also on the drawing board are seminars heralding the benefits of barter for the business community. To facilitate that, a close working relationship with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Singapore Manufacturing Association, has been underway for some time.

IRTA�s effort at GES was another step in the right direction....further expanding the awareness and understanding of the commercial barter industry globally.

In today�s borderless world, a company that has a barter component available and ready to use (to close a business deal) has a competitive edge in the marketplace. Having one�s company be a part of a barter exchange hub in Asia will provide a company with the means to expand its network of global contacts as well.

For more information on BarterXchange go to http://www.barterxchange.com; for IRTA, see www.irta.com.

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