By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan’s e-commerce increases almost twofold a year, executive director of the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication (CAERC) Vusal Gasimli said at the World E-Commerce Eurasia 2019 Baku Forum held on November 26 as part of StartupFest 2019.
He noted that although the growth rate of e-commerce in the country is high, its share in retail trade is only 0.2 percent. He went on to say that at the current level of Internet penetration, the share of e-commerce of Azerbaijani retailers can reach around 7 percent, according to the global trend.
Furthermore, Gasimli noted that Azexport.az, the leader of e-commerce in Azerbaijan, has increased its presence on international online platforms by 300 times over the three years of its existence.
"The share of information and communication technologies in Azerbaijan’s non-oil exports is increasing. The GDP of information and communication services grew by more than 40 percent over the period from 2016 to 2019. In January-September 2019, $30.2 million worth of services were exported, which is 81 percent more compared to the same period of 2018," he added.
Gasimli further informed that the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication is currently monitoring and evaluating the "State Program for Enhancing Digital Payments in Azerbaijan for 2018-2020".
Vusal Gasimli mentioned that the volume of e-commerce in the world will reach $ 6.54 trillion by 2022 compared to $3.53 trillion in 2018.
Addressing the event, founder of My Broker Rashad Aliyev said that the purpose of the forum was to develop e-commerce infrastructure in Azerbaijan and its regions, to expand contacts in this area, as well as to increase interest and support startups working in this area.
Chairman of the World E-Commerce Forum Omar Nart stressed the importance of the forum and spoke about the current status of e-commerce in Turkey.
Acting president of AZPROMO Yusif Abdullayev spoke about the importance of the forum.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Board of Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMEs), Orkhan Mammadov, said that the volume of e-commerce is growing rapidly, noting that Azerbaijan is also taking important steps to adapt to these trends as part of the global economic system.
The development of e-commerce in Azerbaijan has been identified as a priority. Priority areas primarily focus on expanding e-commerce and increasing the share of e-commerce in retail sales.
On the sidelines of the forum, Deputy Chairman of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovation under the President (ASAN Service) Jeyhun Salmanov said that ASAN Association will be established in Azerbaijan in December.
“In June, the UN organized an international forum on public services. During the forum, a protocol of intent was signed to establish the ASAN Association. In December the association will be formally established. Eight states will join the association. Several states have also taken the initiative to join. These countries include Turkey, Afghanistan, Morocco, Indonesia, the UAE and Montenegro. At the next stage, a mechanism will be created to apply ASAN service in other countries,” Salmanov said.
The main goal of StartupFest 2019 is to create a platform for the exchange of experience to attract start-up ecosystem players in Azerbaijan and the region, to exchange views on the development of the ecosystem and solve existing problems, to turn Azerbaijan into a regional center in this field.
The goal of the international forum is to develop e-commerce infrastructure in Azerbaijan and its region, expand ties in this area, as well as increase the interest of startups to this area and provide support to start-ups operating in this field.
The forum was organized by the INNOLAND Incubation and Acceleration Center, Center for Innovation LLC under the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President in cooperation with the World E-Commerce Forum and My Broker customs representation.
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