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BRICS Cooperation on E-Commerce

09 / 08 ‘16

The 12nd Meeting of BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) took place in Agra, India, on 29 July 2016 and was presided by Dammu Ravi, Joint Secretary of Department of Commerce, Government of India.

The general BRICS representation at the Meeting united ministerial and public agency officials in trade and industry, economic development, SMEs development, foreign affairs as well as experts from private sector institutes. Xu Xian, Deputy Director of Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of Ministry of Commerce of China, Alexandre Guido Lopes Parola, Minister Counsellor at Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, Nicky Kruger, Chief Director of International Trade and Economic Development Division of Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa were among the prominent speakers of the 12th Meeting of BRICS CGETI.

The Russian delegation was led by Natalia Strigunova, Deputy Director of Department of Asia, Africa and Latin America of Ministry of Economic Development of Russia. Iliia Dimitrov, Ombudsman for E-Trade, Executive Director of Association of Electronic Trading Platforms, made part of the Russian delegation as an invited e-commerce expert.

During the Meeting it was frequently noted by the BRICS delegations that e-commerce is an important growth driver for emerging economies. E-commerce promotes cross-border trade and involves more industries in foreign economic activity, which in turn creates new opportunities for SMEs. At the same time there is a number of issues related to e-commerce requiring a continuous international dialogue and experience sharing between the BRICS member states, emphasized Dammu Ravi, Joint Secretary of Department of Commerce of Government of India.

The session on BRICS E-Commerce Cooperation featured a research project on the state of e-commerce within BRICS presented by the Russian delegation. The presentation outlined the essential aspects of e-commerce development and focused on the policies aimed at promoting cross-border e-commerce within BRICS. The research was initiated by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation in May 2016, the Association of Electronic Trading Platforms of Russia taking an active role in drafting the research proposals.

Among other points, the project highlights the importance of a coordinated approach to the terms and definitions in the field of e-commerce, data sharing standards, security of e-transactions, linguistic technologies aimed at elimination of language barrier, harmonization of e-commerce regulatory practices within BRICS. The delegations noted the comprehensive approach to e-commerce adopted by the Russian delegation in the proposed study and considered the project a step towards further BRICS e-commerce cooperation.

The day before, 28th August 2016, the 2nd BRICS Seminar on Services took place, during which the Russian experts proposed a number of measures to be considered inter-sessionally as aimed at promoting trade in services between the BRICS countries. Among those, a study of the classifications of services currently implemented by the BRICS economies and research in the BRCIS e-services markets. Both mean to facilitate open data sharing and increase the cross-border turnover of trade in services within BRICS.