BRICS is seeking a special way to e-commerce

10th July 2015

On 7 July 2015 on the eve of the summit of heads of state of the BRICS countries, delegations of the economic ministries from five countries discussed the coordinated regulation of electronic commerce.

E-commerce was the key topic for discussion at the meeting of economy ministers of the BRICS countries in Moscow.

For the first time the BRICS countries held a theoretical discussion devoted to growing e-commerce sector in April. At this time, the delegations of the economic ministries of the five countries agreed on the need for coordinated measures for e-commerce regulation.

The Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Alexey Ulyukaev said that trade turnover between Russia and the BRICS countries has doubled in the last seven years and in 2014 equaled to $107 billion and the amount of trade between the countries reached $ 291 billion.

“Our country is a country with a large territory and underdeveloped infrastructure of physical trade and investment in the infrastructure. In this sense, e-commerce is crucial and has particular importance. It allows bridging the gap in access to trade services and receiving low-cost high-quality goods and services,” - said the Minister.

According to him, e-commerce is a “cheap ticket for export”, especially for small and medium business. According to the participants of the meeting, e-commerce is developing extremely fast in the BRICS countries and is a kind of driver of economic growth, helping businesses to sell goods.

For example, in Brazil sector of online sales grew by 28% in 2014 compared to 2013. In India, e-commerce sector is also actively developing and growing at 30% a year, while in South Africa, according to the Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa Rob Davies, there is literally an “explosion of e-commerce”.

The representative of China said that it is e-commerce that enabled small and medium business get access to customers and better sell their products. Deputy Minister of Commerce of China Wang Shouwen in turn said that through e-commerce farmers can sell their unique products directly to customers who trust more to the manufacturers than intermediaries.

But as well as other participants of the meeting, he raised the question of the need to verify the quality of the exported goods and simplifying customs clearance and wished that “when a buyer purchased a box of red wine in South Africa, two bottles of wine from that box would not go to the inspection”, it is “too expensive”.

E-commerce is important for Russia – according to the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on Economic policy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation development Victor Klimov, virtually all state purchases are in electronic form. In order to develop the industry, countries need to solve a few blocks of problems - from the creation of legally valid single document flow to technological support and issues of cryptography and identification of parties to the transaction.

In general, participants of the meeting agreed that e-commerce regulation and its standards are developing. BRICS countries will have to conduct a joint analysis of the various issues and “to develop their own special BRICS approach, stressed Rob Davies.

According to Alexey Ulyukaev, the plan of action scheduled by the countries for the development of cooperation between the BRICS countries in the field of e-commerce can be the basis of a memorandum of understanding that will become a “step forward for uniting and will give countries the opportunity to move on”.

Source: Кommersant

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