The current state and prospects for development of electronic commerce in Azerbaijan were discussed
A roundtable on “Electronic Commerce in Azerbaijan: Current Situation and Prospects for Development” was launched in Baku jointly by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies (MTCHT) and the European Union (EU) in 11th July 2018.
The event was organized within the framework of the project “Enhancing development of e-Services (incl. e-Commerce) in the Republic of Azerbaijan”, which MTCHT and the EU have been implementing since 2017.
The purpose of the roundtable is to propose a platform that will unite efforts of various government agencies for the development of national e-commerce and to prepare proposals on removing obstacles and restrictions impeding the operation of small and medium-sized businesses in the field of e-commerce.
The agenda of the roundtable, which is attended by representatives of state agencies, international organizations and private sector, includes such topics as “Provision of state support to small and medium-sized businesses for development of e-commerce business (supply chain, logistics, etc.)”, “Obstacles facing small and medium-sized entrepreneurs who want to engage in e-commerce business and ways to overcome these obstacles”. Presentation of the project “Baku E-Commerce Forum-2018” was also held at the event.
At the roundtable, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade spoke about the large-scale economic reforms that have been implemented in the recent years in line with global economic challenges. “E-commerce has been rapidly developing in the country during the last few years. Retail e-commerce turnover in Azerbaijan in 2016 amounted to 25,613,000 manat. In 2017, this figure increased to 46,227,000 manat. Presently, Azerbaijan ranks 68th among 144 countries in the B2C ecommerce index of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Then, Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas spoke at the event. Noting that Azerbaijan is an important partner for the EU, the ambassador said that this cooperation have been continuing for more than 20 years.
Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee Iqbal Babayev also spoke at the roundtable. In his speech, he touched upon the problems encountered in the development of this area.
Then, Head of the ICT Policy Department of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Executive Officer of UNCTAD in the fields of ICT, e-commerce and digital economy, Torbjörn Fredriksson, spoke at the event.
Also director of R.I.T.A, Legal & Financial NCP HORIZON 2020 in Azerbaijan, expert of HDM in Azerbaijan Tofig Babayev took part in the event.
After the speeches, presentations on such topics as “Major criteria for the development of electronic commerce in Azerbaijan”, “Electronic commerce is an unused potential” were made.Then, the roundtable participants exchanged their opinions and views on the presentations with the active participation of private sector representatives. The private sector representatives voiced their opinions and proposals regarding the current state of entrepreneurs who are being engaged in domestic e-commerce.The roundtable participants representing the private sector spoke about problems and difficulties encountered in the development of e-commerce. They suggested that appropriate steps be taken by state bodies to eliminate these problems.