E-commerce development across the SCO area: Presentation by SCO Model Group

E-commerce development across the SCO area: Presentation by SCO Model Group

On 14 December 2019, members of the SCO Model group spoke about the efforts to develop e-commerce across the SCO area at the 2ndAgora SCOLAR Vision Youth Conference, which was held at the SCO Secretariat. The SCO model group was created on the initiative of SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov, who suggested that the group include students who earlier took part in the 4th SCO Model Youth Conference (held on 9 November 2019 at the SCO Secretariat).

Participants in the 4th SCO Model Youth Conference delivered a report on progress in developing e-commerce in the SCO member countries. Based on the different experiences of the SCO member countries, they identified problems that obstruct the development of e-commerce and proposed that e-trade across the SCO space be promoted through educational training courses at the SCO University, introducing e-commerce in the agricultural sector to provide incentives to local producers, holding online shopping festivals and drawing up effective e-trade development strategies.

Currently, worldwide e-commerce based sales exceed $3.5 trillion. E-commerce is going strong across the European Union, ASEAN and APEC areas and in other countries. The SCO member countries are also known for their efforts to promote e-commerce. In particular, in 2004, an SCO special working group for e-commerce was created; in 2018, the SCO Youth Incubator Development Concept was developed; and in 2019, the SCO member countries approved the Concept for Cooperation in Digitalisation and Information and Communication Technologies Between the SCO Member States and the Programme for Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation Between the SCO Member States.

The level of e-commerce penetration varies across the SCO area, according to participants. For example, online sales in China account for 36.6 percent of overall sales, the figure for Russia and India is 4 percent in each, and for Kazakhstan it is below 3 percent, and even lower in other countries.

The speakers proposed ideas that could help promote e-commerce across the SCO area. They believe boosting computer literacy would be a giant step towards achieving this goal. In addition, they said, it was necessary to develop laws to regulate this sector. They also noted that e-commerce could give a new impetus to the development of agriculture. The delegates also recommended that the SCO member states create a format for exchanging information on progress in promoting e-commerce in each member country.

Another event during the conference was a ceremony to sign a cooperation agreement between the SCOLAR Network youth platform and Innoway, which provides for an exchange of knowledge and information, as well as training courses and hands-on training for SCOLAR members at Innoway. SCOLAR Network has also signed an agreement with JoinPRO (the SCO Youth Card) tourist platform to attract students and young specialists to take part in promoting tourism across the SCO area, including the SCO Eight Wonders project.

The presentation was prepared jointly by members of the SCO SCOLAR Network youth platform and delegates to the 4th SCO Model Youth Conference.