The first international conference on “Digital Trade Hub of Azerbaijan: Development Perspectives” was held on October 19, 2017 in Baku. The conference was arranged by the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication and sponsored by Pasha Bank, Bakcell and «B.EST Solutions».
The conference which was mainly carried out through panel discussions was attended by the representatives of the European Union and the World Bank, UNDP, Russia, Estonia, England, Poland, Switzerland, China and other countries. The conference was opened by the presentations by Mr. Sahil Babayev, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Mr. Vusal Gasimli, the Executive Director at the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, who presented the concept of the Digital Trade Hub of Azerbaijan as an innovative governmental start-up based on the Public and private partnership. It was stressed that, the Digital Trade Hub of Azerbaijan is an innovative electronic trade platform, where electronic transactions will be legal, and e-commerce practitioners’ registration procedure at the portal will be verified by the State via legal entities register.
«Digital Trade Hub of Azerbaijan is a perfect example of collaboration between Public and private sectors in e-commerce. The concept is extremely important for creation of the single electronic and digital environment throughout the Silk Road as well as within Europe. The Digital Trade Hub enables non-residents in Azerbaijan to carry out operations to open LLCs, bank accounts, hire employees, carry out export-import operations after receiving electronic signatures. It allows Digital Trade Hub to be an electronic
“single window” for export, when any Azerbaijan exporter can go through all required procedures by means of a computer or any mobile device to prepare documents and processing of product exports without leaving the office», – Mr. Gasimli noted.
The participants were greeted by Mr. Kestutis Jankauskas, the Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan who expressed the intentions to help Azerbaijan increase its economic and export potential. «The EU stands ready to support all projects on Digital Trade Hub to be implemented in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is taking serious steps in this area. I believe that you will have concrete results to present at the Eastern Partnership Summit on November 24», – Mr. Jankauskas noted.
The introduction was followed by two panel discussions. The first two discussions on «Digital Trade Hub as a driver of international trade and economic development of Azerbaijan» and « Innovation solutions of cross-border trade» was moderated by Mrs. Jana Krimpe, the founder of B.EST Solutions company, the “Asan İmza” Mobile ID service operator and the Digital Trade Hub partner. The first panel discussion also included the speech of Mr. Jon Shamah, the Chair of EEMA, who highly appreciated the role of «Asan İmza», in the Digital Trade Hub project and presented the benefits of such European initiatives as eIDAS and Future Trust. Besides, the issues of application and mutual recognition of electronic signatures, simplifying export procedures, issuing electronic signatures to the non-residents, remote establishing and managing the company as well as new solutions in e-commerce were discussed.
Upon completion of panel discussion, the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication and «Azexport.az» portal signed a series of memoranda on collaboration in cross-border exchange of electronic legal documents and mutual recognition of electronic signatures with some international companies. MoU’s were signed by Mr. Vusal Gasimli, the Executive Director at the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Zaur Gardashov, the Head of Azexport.az portal, Dr. Valerii Pustarnakov and Prof. Vladimir Kustov, the heads of the Russian “Gazinformservice” LLC, Mr. Andrzej Ruciński, the Advisor to the President of the Management Board, Asseco Data Systems (Poland) and Mr. Sardor Mukhamedaliev, the General Director, OrientSwiss (Switzerland). «Signing the agreements will help improve relations between countries towards the development of e-commerce and foster the economic development of Azerbaijan», – Mr. Gasimli said.
The final panel discussion on «Digital Trade Hub maximizing synergies of Public Private Partnership» was moderated by Mr. Zaur Gardashev, the Head of Azexport.az portal. The presentations on «Azexport.az» within this discussion demonstrated that the export of goods produced in Azerbaijan is being supported by the portal which works with such with such global trade platforms as Alibaba.com, eBay.com, Wholesale and All.biz, Amazon, and others. The conference attendees also knew about other innovative initiatives of Azerbaijan, including AZINNEX (Azerbaijan Innovation Export Consortium) etc.
It should be mentioned that in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, additional measures are taken to expand the international trade and strengthen the Azexport.az portal as a Digital Trade Hub of Azerbaijan. According to this Decree «Asan İmza» will be
issued to the foreign citizens in all diplomatic representatives of Azerbaijan all around the world. The Presidential Decree dated September 12, 2017 ratified Regulations “On “www.azexport.az” web portal”, in accordance with which the users registered on the portal via «Asan İmza» and taxpayers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, will be able to make and sign the contracts with their foreign business partners electronically. Other procedures will be also performed by means of enhanced signature «Asan İmza» or «e-Imza». The conference also presented the m-Residence project enabling foreign nationals to use «Asan İmza», and therefore, have access to all e-services in Azerbaijan. So they will be able to operate their business from anywhere in the world. Due to the recently launched single AsanDoc.az portal, allowing one signing any electronic document with digital signature «Asan İmza», provides convenient and legal communication with Public institutions and banks of Azerbaijan. Also it simplified the workflow between the private companies.