While lack of spending confidence is gradually slowing sales on the high street as the recession starts to bite, a report released yesterday indicates that Balearic companies are very wary of the expanding electronic economy and do not feel confident with electronic financial transactions. The Balearic Minister for Technology and Energy, Misericordia Ramon, said that while the small business sector's technology is “good it could be improved.” But is has also been revealed that small businesses are not using their technology to communicate and negotiate with clients and consumers. Some 400 companies were canvassed as part of the survey. 90 per cent are equipmed with computers and 60 per cent are on-line with 30 per cent operating their own web site, but very few are using the latest technology to its full capacity. But the Balearic business community's scepticism of technology is mirrored across Spain. The Balearic government hopes to be able to ease the business sector's fears and convince the sector that the internet and other means of electronic business are safe and reliable and in the long run highly beneficial. With many Balearic companies, egged on by the government, looking to expand exports and develop new commercial links overseas, one of the easiest and cost effective ways of reaching such aims is via the internet. The government is now planning a study of internet banking and how many companies and private clients are now carrying out their banking via the internet. With a local supermarket chain now offering 24 hour internet shopping, the authorities hope that the private and commercial sectors will follow the supermarket's lead.

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