EEC, business representatives and experts discussed prospects for developing Union digital trade

A seminar Digital Trade: Global Experience and Development Prospects in the EAEU was held at the Eurasian Economic Commission's venue, moderated by Andrey Slepnev, EEC Minister in charge of Trade.

“Our seminar today is dedicated to the development of digital trade — this area is broader than e-commerce, which we have been involved in for some time. Digitalization is also taking place in other areas, but we understand that the work must be intensified, and this is reflected in the Eurasian Economic Path Declaration adopted by the leaders of our countries,” the Minister said, opening the event. “In this regard, it is important for us to hold a meeting with the business and expert community at the start in order to highlight the priorities and main points of focus where we can be effective as a Union.”

Boris Chalov, a leading lecturer at N.E. Bauman MSTU, head of the logistics company CHB Forwarding LLC, urged to primarily determine step-by-step scenarios for the movement of goods and services, accompanied by the generation and transfer of various documents. Director General of Industrial Cryptosystems JSC Mikhail Chekanov emphasized that what mattered most for the development of digital trade was digital infrastructure, data security, electronic document flow, electronic signatures, security and sustainability of software supplies.

In turn, Andrey Filippov, Deputy Director for International Cooperation at ANO Digital Economy, proposed to prepare a set of existing solutions for the implementation of artificial intelligence technology in trade across the EAEU countries, which could be scaled up throughout the Union. Maxim Rozhnev, Deputy Director for Government Relations at Yandex e-commerce services, spoke about the company’s specific experience in using artificial intelligence in trade, which made it possible to significantly reduce the time and monetary costs of sellers using e-commerce services.

Yulia Shlenskaya, President of the KVT Company Group, focused on the issues of digital payments and settlements, which she identified as topic number one for the entire foreign trade industry today. She also spoke about joint projects on seamless technologies with large banks, which allow clients to share the document flow with a customs representative and logistics operator.

Sevak Sarukhanyan, Director of the Digital Initiatives Directorate of the Eurasian Development Bank, proposed using the unique experience of marketplaces and the development of electronic commerce in the Eurasian space to promote common standards for electronic document flow. Nikolay Dmitrik, expert of the UNCITRAL working group, drew attention to the problem of compatibility when developing international solutions. In his opinion, it is important that the EAEU engages in systematic work to explore global practices and regimes already adopted or planned to be adopted in the future. Alexander Daniltsev, Director of the Institute of Trade Policy at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, proposed creating a system to support the development of educational potential and human resources in the field of digital technologies within the Eurasian Economic Union.

According to the agreement reached during the seminar, all its participants will share their accumulated experience with the EEC for their subsequent use in preparing an action plan for the implementation of the Eurasian Economic Path Declaration in terms of digital trade development.

The Eurasian Economic Path Declaration highlights digital trade as one of the promising areas for the EAEU development. Digital trade in a broad sense includes both traditional digitalization of trading activities (payments, documents and document flow), electronic commerce, and new areas of interaction in trade, namely: expanded use of artificial intelligence, introducing the “data economy”, regulating the activities of platforms, etc.

Considering that the development of digital trade creates both opportunities and some risks for the functioning of the Union’s economy, it is necessary now to determine the main contours of its support and regulation.