Designing a Successful National E-Commerce Strategy for Uzbekistan

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has become evident that the role of electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is crucial for trade. E-commerce opens many opportunities for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to access global markets and trade faster. Uzbekistan is currently introducing wide-ranging reforms, including in the sphere of IT and e-commerce, to boost productivity and increase its competitiveness in various economic sectors.

Currently, there are numerous active marketplaces to support businesses looking to trade online as more and more shops digitalize their activities within the country. However, many MSMEs face challenges in using online trade services, often because they have limited knowledge and experience on how to sell their goods on the internet. This is especially true of the Uzbek handicraft sector, whose mastery is based on ancient traditions passed from generation to generation. There is thus a pressing need for the further development of e-commerce support for MSMEs in the country.

In Uzbekistan, the European Union funded “Ready4Trade Central Asia project”, which is implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), is working in partnership with the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade (MIFT) to develop a National E-Commerce Strategy which will define the key priorities and activities for progress in the sector.

A National E-Commerce Strategy working group has recently been formed and their first meeting took place on 28 July 2021. Representatives of MIFT and ITC, Ready4Trade’s implementing partner, opened the meeting. During the meeting the participants discussed the design process of the National E-Commerce Strategy. ITC presented the findings from an initial assessment of the e-commerce ecosystem in Uzbekistan and discussed the key priorities on how to support the development of successful e-commerce in the country.

In addition to the first meeting of the working group, the ITC delegation also met key public-private players and development partners to gain a better understanding of recent developments and upcoming initiatives furthering the growth of e-commerce in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Stay connected: #Ready4Trade #CentralAsia

With the project ‘Ready4Trade Central Asia’, the European Union (EU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) are joining forces to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the region. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), in particular women-led enterprises, and Business Support Organizations (BSOs). The project operates in five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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