Now the World adds Asian affiliates, changes name, launches portal

San Francisco  April 17, 2001 changed its name this month to Meet World Trade and launched a new cross-border trade portal to let buyers around the globe connect with Asian suppliers.

The launch of the new portal,, reflects the opening of affiliate operations outside China, adding the countries of India, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, according to Eugene Benavides, director of global alliances for Meet World Trade.

Through its affiliate operations, Meet World Trade says it will offer offline support services for corporate purchasers to enable sampling, virtual factory tours, supplier outreach and request-for-quote broadcasting to a network of Asian suppliers.

"Meet World Trade provides an online procurement service with access to Asia's primary emerging markets," said Len Cordiner, CEO of Meet World Trade. "The Information Age is only now reaching these emerging markets, where most small- and medium-sized companies continue to wait to realize global e-commerce's full benefits," including convenience, speed, transparency, security and value.

"Meet World Trade was formed to bring these benefits to all kinds of companies, to ultimately make buying across the world as easy as buying next door," Cordiner added. remains the cornerstone of the Meet World Trade network, according to Benavides. "It's our largest local gateway, with over 600 employees and 70,000 online company and product catalogs," he said.

The new affiliates include Satyam Infoway, an Internet company in India that trades on the Nasdaq as SIFY; the Nation Group, Thailand's largest media conglomerate; EC21, the Korea International Trade Association's trade portal; Indosat, Indonesia's largest international telecommunications company, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange as IIT; and the International Finance Corporation and FPT, a Vietnamese information technology company.

The new portal provides buyers with search and negotiation tools, online purchase orders, product alerts, online supplier ratings and a landed-cost calculator to facilitate the process of purchasing from emerging markets.

Meet World Trade now integrates several third-party trade service applications, including SGS quality assurance services and Wells Fargo online Letters of Credit. To pilot the new functionality, Meet World Trade said it has engaged a group of beta users, companies that will trade through system and co-develop new enhancements planned for release in third quarter 2001.

Founded as in 1998, Meet World Trade is headquartered in San Francisco, with an Asian regional head office in Hong Kong.