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‘British reserve’ blamed for UK e-commerce inertia

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UK businesses are in danger of being swept aside by US companies unless they start taking e-commerce seriously. And unless British companies begin to make their presence felt in the e-commerce marketplace, foreign competitors could start trading in the UK -- effectively squeezing them out of the domestic market. The warning came from Gary Walker, acting manager of C&W's Internet Services, who said that "British reserve" is holding back the development of e-commerce in the UK. "We're in danger of suffering from inertia," he said, citing the example of Amazon. "The technology is available and the market is growing but companies need to get a move on before it's too late," he said. Earlier this year the Institute of Directors (IoD) published a report which appears to back Mr Walker's view of British reserve. It showed "worryingly low levels of knowledge and responsibility for IT among UK businesspeople when compared to their foreign counterparts and ...UK companies were far less likely to invest in IT innovation". The government will launch its competitiveness white paper tomorrow and is expected to outline a number of areas to help the UK make the most out of e-commerce. ®

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