Coun­try to pre­pare na­tional strat­egy for e-com­merce de­vel­op­ment

Azer News - - Front Page - By Rashid Shiri­nov

Azer­bai­jan Min­istry of Trans­port, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and High Tech­nolo­gies in co­op­er­a­tion with UNCTAD (UN Con­fer­ence on Trade and De­vel­op­ment) plans to pre­pare the na­tional strat­egy for e-com­merce de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try, Min­is­ter Ramin Gu­luzade said on July 11.

Azer­bai­jan Min­istry of Trans­port, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and High Tech­nolo­gies in co­op­er­a­tion with UNCTAD (UN Con­fer­ence on Trade and De­vel­op­ment) plans to pre­pare the na­tional strat­egy for e-com­merce de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try, Min­is­ter Ramin Gu­luzade said on July 11.

He made the re­marks at a con­fer­ence en­ti­tled “E- com­merce in Azer­bai­jan: cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment prospects.”

“In re­cent years, e-com­merce has been de­vel­op­ing dy­nam­i­cally in Azer­bai­jan. In 2016 the vol­ume of retail e-com­merce in the coun­try amounted to 25 mil­lion man­ats ($14.68 mil­lion), but in 2017 this fig­ure ex­ceeded 46 mil­lion man­ats ($27.02 mil­lion),” Gu­luzade said, ad­ding that ac­cord­ing to the UNCTAD E-com­merce In­dex, Azer­bai­jan ranks the 68th among 144 coun­tries in the world.

The min­is­ter fur­ther noted that it is planned to or­ga­nize an in­ter­na­tional fo­rum on e-com­merce in Baku in Septem­ber. The event is planned to be held jointly with the Euro­pean Union, the UN and other in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Gu­luzade said that the Min­istry and the EU have been im­ple­ment­ing an e-com­merce de­vel­op­ment project since 2017, and se­ri­ous work is be­ing car­ried out within it to bring the e-iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem in line with EU stan­dards.

“To de­velop e-com­merce in the coun­try, the law on e-com­merce was adopted, and the na­tional strat­egy for 2014-2020 was adopted for the de­vel­op­ment of in­for­ma­tion so­ci­ety. In ad­di­tion, strate­gic road maps were adopted for the de­vel­op­ment of the econ­omy as a whole and its in­di­vid­ual sec­tors,” the min­is­ter noted.

He fur­ther re­minded that in 2016, the Az­ex­port.az e-com­merce por­tal was cre­ated in the coun­try in ac­cor­dance with the pres­i­den­tial or­der. More­over, the Dig­i­tal Trade Hub, which plays an im­por­tant role in en­sur­ing transna­tional trade op­er­a­tions, was cre­ated to strengthen Azer­bai­jan’s po­si­tion as a dig­i­tal trade hub and ex­pand trade re­la­tions with other coun­tries.

“The geostrate­gic lo­ca­tion of Azer­bai­jan cre­ates new op­por­tu­ni­ties for the delivery of or­ders by mail. To­day, a project of re­gional im­por­tance in e-com­merce is al­ready be­ing im­ple­mented, which al­lows Az­er­post to act as a re­gional postal cen­ter and de­liver goods through e-com­merce,” Gu­luzade noted.

He men­tioned that the goods or­dered from China’s e-com­merce plat­forms are de­liv­ered to Azer­bai­jan and pro­cessed by Az­er­post, and af­ter that they are de­liv­ered to more than 20 coun­tries by AZAL and SilkWay com­pa­nies.

Deputy Chair­man of the State Cus­toms Com­mit­tee (SCC) Iqbal Babayev, in turn, said that mo­bile phones im­ported by in­di­vid­u­als into Azer­bai­jan for per­sonal use shall not be used for com­mer­cial pur­poses. He noted that the SCC, to­gether with the Min­istry of Trans­port, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and High Tech­nolo­gies of Azer­bai­jan, takes mea­sures to curb th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Presently, the sit­u­a­tion in the mar­ket is such that it is not pos­si­ble to get in­for­ma­tion about who is en­gaged in com­mer­cial sales of phones. To­gether with the Min­istry, we are im­ple­ment­ing a joint project that will pre­vent in­di­vid­u­als’ com­mer­cial sale of mo­bile de­vices for per­sonal use,” Babayev said.

He added that the sit­u­a­tion can be rad­i­cally changed through le­gal reg­u­la­tion, im­prove­ment of postal and lo­gis­tics ser­vices.

“At the same time, it is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary to en­sure cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. It is nec­es­sary to make sure that e-com­merce in Azer­bai­jan makes its con­tri­bu­tion to the world e-com­merce mar­ket,” Babayev said.

Speak­ing to re­porters on the side­lines of the con­fer­ence, head of the EU Del­e­ga­tion to Azer­bai­jan Kes­tutis Jankauskas said that it is nec­es­sary to de­velop e-com­merce for en­hanc­ing part­ner­ship be­tween the EU and Azer­bai­jan.

“The event is about look­ing where we are in de­vel­op­ing e-com­merce op­por­tu­ni­ties in Azer­bai­jan. The EU has a project worth 300,000 eu­ros on­go­ing since last year. It should be fin­ished this year. This is about bring­ing our EU best prac­tices and ex­per­tise in this area work­ing with the Min­istry of Trans­port and ICT,” he said.

Jankauskas noted that Azer­bai­jan is an im­por­tant part­ner of Europe.

“We are work­ing hard on the new project for trans­porta­tion hub which con­nects this re­gion to Europe and Europe to Cen­tral Asia and to huge Chi­nese mar­ket. For that to suc­ceed, we need to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for safe, re­li­able routes, trans­porta­tions, links and trade,” he added.

Not­ing that the EU is the big­gest trade part­ner of Azer­bai­jan, Jankauskas said that to keep and en­hance this, it is nec­es­sary to en­sure the de­vel­op­ment of e-com­merce and e-ser­vices for peo­ple within the coun­try and for the in­ter­na­tional traders.

E-com­merce of­fers sev­eral ad­van­tages over or­di­nary pa­per­based com­merce, such as its con­ve­nience and trans­parency. Ecom­merce trans­ac­tions are al­ways recorded, since both the mer­chant sell­ing the prod­uct or ser­vice and the buyer keep a record. More­over, e-com­merce pro­vides ac­cess to prod­ucts and ser­vices from all over the world.

To­day it is safe to say that ecom­merce will be­come one of the most im­por­tant trends in the Azer­bai­jani econ­omy in the next few years.

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