For many small companies looking to move into electronic commerce, establishing a Web presence is often the first step. Hong Kong-based Asian Sources Media Group (ASM) has helped several thousand regional manufacturers take that step, listing nearly 36,000 companies from 51 countries. Manufacturers can place contact numbers and details and pictures of their products on ASM's site. ASM's publishing division chief executive Sarah Benecke said the site received more than 20,000 inquiries each week from overseas buyers. Electronic marketing manager Peggy Chong said her company began using the service a year ago because it realised e-mail was popular among customers in the United States. She said Kongsonic, which makes black-and-white televisions, displayed eight of its 10 models on the ASM Web site, receiving an average of two or three inquiries a week. The Trade Development Council (TDC) has a similar on-line, trade-matching service called TDC-Link Internet. Unlike Asian Sources Online, it charges a small fee for anything more than the most basic of services. In addition to trade-matching, ASM recently launched several new services, including an excess-stock feature which allows manufacturers to post details of excess stock they want to sell quickly. Interested buyers reply by e-mail. 'They are really moving,' Ms Benecke said. 'We weren't sure what kind of response we would get, but many suppliers are getting one or two inquiries a week.' ASM is planning to introduce electronic commerce features to the site, such as Web-based EDI (electronic data interchange) forms, which would make communication between importers and exporters easier. The forms should be available on the site by this summer, Ms Benecke said. 'We want to make it possible for small and medium-size Asian firms to do EDI with the biggest importers in the world,' she said.