18 February 2020, 11:42
At the government session chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, the Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov, the Chair of the Board of Kazpost JSC Saken Sarsenov, the Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry Askar Zhumagaliyev reported on issues related to the development of electronic commerce.
Minister of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakhyt Sultanov noted that today the worldwide retail e-commerce market is growing at a faster pace, crowding out traditional trade.
At the end of 2019, global retail e-commerce exceeded $3.5 trillion, excluding sales of airline tickets and event tickets. The past few years, the growth rate of this indicator exceeds 20%. The leaders in the volume of Internet commerce are China and the USA, with a total share of 71.3% of the world market.
“We see that large shopping centers are actively developing the electronic format of trade. Over the past 2 years, more than 10 thousand offline stores have closed in the US alone” Sultanov informed.
In e-commerce itself, the demand for marketplaces is growing. Vivid examples are the electronic platforms of Alibaba and Amazon, which occupy about half of the online markets of China and the USA.
Another trend in e-commerce is shopping primarily through smartphones. The proportion of customers who place orders using smartphones worldwide is 54%. In Kazakhstan, this indicator approached 65%.
The volume of the e-commerce market of Kazakhstan only in 2019 increased by 1.8 times and exceeded 700 billion tenge. Its share in total e-commerce retail added almost 1% to 3.7%. This indicates a significant growth potential.
At the same time, the domestic market is developing more dynamically. The volume of purchases on Kazakhstan online stores amounted to 422 billion tenge, on international online platforms — 280 billion tenge.
The number of purchases increased to 40.5 million units. At the same time, the main growth - more than 2.5 times — occurred in the domestic market, amounting to 22 million units.
In 2019, the number of active buyers increased by 72% and amounted to 3.2 million people.
In Kazakhstan, there are more than 2 thousand online stores. However, to obtain tax benefits in the form of exemption from income tax, a total of 579 online stores are registered.
Therefore, as Sultanov noted, it is important, without tightening regulation, to take measures to stimulate the legal activity of this sector, as trends show double-digit growth rates.
The “whitening” of the circulation of goods and services is evidenced by the fact that in 2019 the volume of non-cash payments increased by 2.3 times and amounted to about 14.4 trillion tenge. The growth was due to the development of the infrastructure of trading POS-terminals, the entry of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay to the markets of Kazakhstan, the stimulation by customers of banks through bonuses and cashbacks, as well as the active use of cashless payments on all types of public transport.
In 2019, 36.8 thousand new jobs were created in electronic commerce.
In 2019, a roadmap for the development of electronic commerce for 2019-2025 was developed and adopted. The measures laid down in it are structured in 3 directions: increasing exports in electronic commerce, involving domestic entrepreneurs in electronic commerce and developing infrastructure, protecting consumer rights and promoting electronic commerce.
“The task set back last summer was to increase the share of electronic commerce to 5%. However, with the creation of the Ministry of Trade and Integration, we conducted an analysis that allowed us to set a more ambitious goal - to increase the share of e-commerce to 10%. In this regard, we have taken additional measures,” said the minister of trade and integration.
First, measures to promote Kazakhstani companies on international electronic platforms.
Together with the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, the program “School of Internet Exporter” has been launched. Two hundred of its participants were trained in practical business skills on electronic trading floors. Direct support was provided for promoting beginner and experienced entrepreneurs on Internet platforms. 50 companies have been selected to provide access to the international Alibaba platform as a “Gold Supplie.r” This premium status provides access to a global audience, the possibility of integrated promotion within the marketplace.
Second, measures have been taken to attract international platforms to Kazakhstan.
Last year, the Ministry of Trade and Integration signed a memorandum with the international company Wildberries on the implementation of the investment project. Its main goal is the creation and development of infrastructure, which will increase the export of Kazakhstani goods through this platform. Wildberries became a member of the AIFC and, as an investor, has priority in protecting its rights and interests. Today, 21 Kazakhstani companies are already selling 594 types of goods on this platform in such areas as Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
Third, measures to develop the ecosystem infrastructure of the e-commerce market.
Today, 3 fulfillment centers have been established in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Aktobe, which process more than 350 thousand mail items daily. By 2025, their number will be increased to 19. This will increase the volume of mail to 82.8 million units and provide services to more than 1,000 online stores.
At the same time, as part of the creation of a commodity distribution infrastructure, it is planned to fully digitalize the network of agro-logistics and wholesale distribution centers. So, on their basis electronic trading platforms for farmers and wholesale buyers will be created. The information system will allow you to track trade flows and provide balanced inter-regional flows.
Fourth, measures aimed at supporting the creation of Kazakhstani digital trading platforms.
Today, there are about 13 developing Kazakhstan trading floors in the market. Marketplaces such as Kaspi.kz, flip.kz., chocofamily, mechta.kz and others have about 20 categories of goods and services.
In order to develop the food trade, support was provided for the development of the electronic platforms Onay Bazar and HappyFood.kz. They allow the consumer to buy goods without leaving home. For example, carrots in the market cost 100 tenge, and the price of Onay Bazar is 85 tenge.
In order to sell domestic products by farmers at competitive prices, the Agro Labs platform is being developed.
“In general, we believe that the digitalization of trade will reduce food prices, as well as make pricing transparent,” Sultanov said.
Fifth, involving the public in active participation in electronic commerce.
In order to engage society in the electronic format of trade and control food prices with the support of the Ministry, BTS Digital is implementing the PRICE SCANNER application. It will allow monitoring the prices of socially significant and other food products.
Moreover, under the new Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights, the ministry provides for the creation of a single information system for receiving complaints from consumers on the basis of the “one-stop shop” principle. This system will allow the consumer to file a complaint over the Internet and restore their violated rights.
A draft concept of the State Trade Development Program for 2021-2025 has been developed, which provides for Road Map measures and measures proposed by the Ministry of Trade and Integration.
This will give an additional impetus to the development of electronic commerce in the country, providing Kazakhstan with high potential for economic growth and expanding the geography of sales of Kazakhstani goods.
The chairman of the board of Kazpost JSC Saken Sarsenov in his speech noted that within the framework of the Roadmap for the development of electronic commerce in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2019-2025, the Company is the main performer in two areas: “Training of business entities in basic skills of exporting Kazakhstani goods to foreign Internet sites, including on the basis of the "School of Export" and "Opening additional E-commerce centers, taking into account existing needs," as well as a co-executor for 9 areas.
All activities of the Roadmap are performed on time.
Reporting on the measures we have taken to develop e-commerce and implement the Roadmap, Sarsenov said that the Company's network currently consists of 3,857 branches, including 520 in the framework of the partnership model. The network provides 100% coverage of the population.
The company is actively developing the postal infrastructure.
Last year, an automated sorting line processed more than 18 million mail items. The delivery of newspapers and magazines to remote settlements by drones continues.
In order to increase accessibility, the company is developing a network of parcel supermarkets. At present, the Kazpost self-service network consists of 248 parcel supermarkets and 351 post offices throughout the country.
Measures taken to develop the postal infrastructure made it possible to deliver 85% of mail within the country within two days already this year.
E-commerce centers continue to operate. In these centers, SME representatives are trained in the skills of creating online stores, selling and promoting goods in the domestic market. Today E-com centers are open in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Karaganda and Shymkent. In 2019, more than 2,400 SME representatives underwent training at these centers. More than 2,000 SMEs have been trained at the Export School.
In 2019, fulfillment centers were opened in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Aktobe, where owners of online stores can receive a range of services, including the acceptance, processing, storage, tracking and delivery of goods to the final consumer. At the same time, online stores minimize their logistics costs, renting a warehouse for goods, personnel and other costs, and the delivery time for parcels is also significantly reduced. At the end of 2019, the volume of goods in circulation amounted to more than 8 million, for comparison, in 2018 it was 1.2 million.
“In general, we plan to provide all regional centers of Kazakhstan with the services of fulfillment centers by 2025. So, in 2020, four centers will be opened, tentatively in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent and Saryagash,” Sarsenov said.
By 2025, a tenfold increase in postal volumes is expected.
Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry Askar Zhumagaliyev also noted that e-commerce is actively developing today. To do this, some work is being done: providing high-quality Internet, increasing the digital literacy of the population and increasing the volume of non-cash payments.
Currently, 117 cities and more than 3,100 villages with a population of more than 250 people are provided with broadband Internet. By the end of the year, it is planned to cover more than 1,000 villages with a population of over 250 people with high-speed mobile Internet. In this regard, a schedule was drawn up and agreed with all akimats for holding high-speed mobile Internet in villages.
Zhumagaliyev said that last week telecom operators signed a memorandum on the joint creation of a mobile communications network. The project, which is important for the country, will be implemented by operators at their own expense.
In 2021–2022, 877 villages with a population of less than 250 people will be connected to the broadband Internet using 3G / 4G technology, and the remaining 930 villages will be connected to satellite Internet.
“This work is important for improving digital literacy. In this direction, we have reviewed and approved training programs for the population. At the same time, courses are held to develop basic digital skills, the ability to use EGOV, OPENGOV, E-COMMERCE, and information security skills,” Zhumagaliev said.
In 2019, akimats trained more than 532 thousand people in digital competencies. This provides an opportunity for business development and improving the general standard of living of the population.
Increased Internet penetration and digital literacy have become triggers for the development of cashless payments.
Currently, the volume of non-cash transactions has grown by 2.3 times and amounted to 14.5 trillion tenge.
Zhumagaliyev also emphasized that the bill on the regulation of digital technologies provides for the introduction of an instant payment system. According to him, thanks to this, the level of cashless payments will increase, and the level of the shadow economy will decrease. All this will continue to develop domestic production and positively affect the "economy of simple things." As a result, domestic producers will have the opportunity to enter international trading floors. This, of course, will give a new impetus to the country's economic growth.
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