Electronic commerce has become a practical reality for thousands of businesses throughout the world. By combining the functional capabilities of computers and telecommunication systems, companies can now exchange information electronically rather than sending and receiving paper documents. In so doing, businesses are achieving remarkable and unparalleled improvements in the accuracy, speed and efficiency with which commercial transactions may be negotiated, confirmed and performed. By eliminating reliance upon paper as the medium through which commerce occurs, new and radically different approaches are emerging regarding how commercial relationships are defined and maintained. Used for international business transactions, the technologies of electronic commerce are confronting and overcoming traditional barriers to international trade presented by geographic, lingual and cultural disparities between possible trading partners. As a result, facilitating international electronic commerce throughout the global trading community is now fairly considered a project of the highest priority on the international agenda.