E-business and e-commerce conference in Kyrgyzstan discusses digital markets, trade development in Central Asia

BISHKEK (TCA) — How to promote economic prosperity and growth through e-business and e-commerce was the focus of an international conference in Bishkek held on 1 and 2 November, which was organized jointly by the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan and the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek.

The conference brought together more than 130 participants from across the Central Asian region, countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Europe. They included representatives of the private sector, specifically tech companies and financial institutions, academia and a number of international organizations such as the World Customs Organization as well as the 2018 Italian OSCE Chairmanship.

The participants highlighted the benefits of e-business and e-commerce and how to develop these in the Central Asian region, such as the role of governments in introducing relevant legal measures and simplifying customs and tax procedures.

Ambassador Pierre von Arx, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek, noted the need for countries in the region to harmonize legislation and administrative and customs procedures.

“The development of sustainable e-business and e-commerce naturally requires international co-operation, including addressing the challenges they face. The OSCE has a role here as a platform for dialogue,” he said.

Eldar Abakirov, Deputy Economy Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, said digital markets offer great potential in providing new opportunities for the private sector in reaching new customers, various business partners for co-operation, and expanding their markets.

The conference provided attending government representatives with a fresh outlook on the legal framework necessary to encourage e-business and support small and medium-sized enterprises, thereby enhancing their knowledge in the development of digital business.

Participants also discussed their experiences and shared good practices in building sustainable e-businesses and in improving data and privacy protection strategies, as well as cybersecurity, in digital markets.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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