Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Integration Asel JANASOVA:
NEARLY OUR 150 COMPANIES WILL BE ABLE TO SELL COMMODITIES ON ALIBABA BY THE END OF 2021
Kazakhstan’s enterprises continue to actively enter international online platforms to sell their products. So, for example, since the beginning of 2019 to the present nearly 100 companies have been trading in domestic commodities on Alibaba.com. In the future another 50 enterprises can get access to the Internet platform. Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Integration Asel JANASOVA talked in an interview with Interfax-Kazakhstan on what requirements Kazakhstan’s companies need to meet in order to sell their products on Alibaba.
- The School of Internet Exporter program has been launched in Kazakhstan. How many companies have been trained and are now represented on international trading platforms?
- If we talk only about the School of Internet Exporter graduates then within the framework of the support of the Ministry of Trade and Integration 50 companies were selected last year, the same number this year. All of them have been granted access to the Alibaba.com international platform as a Gold Supplier. Of last year's graduates 48 companies are already trading on Alibaba, two more are at the stage of filling out background information - they delayed providing necessary documents. We expect that by the end of the year all of 100 Kazakh companies will be represented on the Alibaba.com Internet platform.
All companies that participate in the project on entering Internet platforms specialize in the production and supply of non-primary goods. So far, these are mainly the representatives of the food and light industries.
- For how much amount have export contracts with Kazakhstani suppliers already been signed?
- For now, in our view, it is still too early to expect big figures. This year companies have just created their internet stores - backgrounds - and started trading. But anyway the results are already available. To date, agreements have been concluded for the sale of products worth 7.114 billion tenge or $ 16.399 million. Kazakhstan’s companies have received more than 500 inquiries for goods. The countries that sent most inquiries are China, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and others.
Next year the Ministry of Trade will continue to roll out our companies into international marketplaces. We plan to roll out another fifty companies onto Alibaba by the end of next year. An increase in the number of Kazakhstan’s sellers on the platform will make it possible to create a national pavilion with domestic goods on the platform. And this will significantly increase product recognition and boost the sales volume.
- How difficult is it for Kazakhstan’s manufacturer to enter the Alibaba platform and what requirements must be met? What does the Gold status give to a supplier?
- Alibaba.com is a leading wholesale mobile marketplace for global trade platform serving over 160 million buyers and suppliers in 190 countries. Alibaba.com’s total turnover and development dynamics are record for the global marketplace as the Internet platform receives 278 million orders per day worth over $ 2 billion.
The Gold Supplier status on the Alibaba platform provides access for the global audience, the opportunity to advance comprehensively within the marketplace and to maximize recognition.
In principle, any company that meets Alibaba's requirements and is willing to pay for the gold status, can hold it.
As for our selection, then special rules have been approved, which formulate the criteria that must be met by our producers and trading companies in order to participate in a contest for the right to have the Gold Supplier status assigned.
Firstly, these companies must have a history, have a CT-KZ certificate and work in priority industries: leather and fur processing, production of footwear, haberdasheries, textiles, food industry, and so on. The full list can be viewed via the special portal for exporters export.gov.kz.
Second, an applicant must have no tax arrears and have export capabilities. That is, to produce a sufficient amount of products theoretically to supply. And a very important point: a company must have an official website and a digitalized product catalog in English.
- What Kazakhstan-made commodities are presented on this platform?
- As for the presented goods, more than 4,000 types of products from Kazakhstan are traded on the platform. Among them there are macaroni, flour, honey, confectionery items, meat, drinks, vegetable oils, furniture, clothing, goods for children, furniture and many others.
- Are Kazakhstan’s exporters represented on the international platforms Shopify, Wildberries, Ozon, Amazon and others. Talk through the plans.
- In August last year, a framework agreement was signed between Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Trade and Integration and Wildberries on cooperation on the issues of development of e-commerce and foreign economic activities of Kazakhstan’s exporters. This gave a start to the boost for Kazakhstan-based companies’s trade in the marketplace. Currently, 21 Kazakhstan’s companies are selling 594 types of goods on the Wildberries platform.
Kazakhstan’s exporters are not yet represented on Shopify, Ozon, Amazon. But we are actively working to establish mutually beneficial cooperation with many international trading platforms to promote Kazakhstan’s goods abroad.
- In your opinion, what domestic goods can be most in demand on international platforms?
- As the experience of presence on Alibaba has shown, inquiries mainly fall on food products such as honey, cereals, meat, butter, and so on. This year for assigning accounts with the Gold Supplier status, we have chosen non-primary commodities, agricultural goods, especially potatoes, onions, vegetables, fruits, root vegetables, seeds, onions, oil, rapeseed, legumes, meat, and also lubricants, toys, especially wooden and educational, electronics.
- As it is known, since the second half of September the Committee for the Protection of Consumer Rights of the Ministry of Trade has received dozens of complaints from citizens regarding the Wildberries online store. Have Kazakhstanis been given back all money and how many people are expecting refunds?
- Yes, since the beginning of September this year, the committee has received 190 complaints on the issue of the failure to refund money by the Wildberries online store totaling 7 million tenge (421.43 tenge /$1). Nearly 6.6 million tenge has already been refunded to 168 consumers.
To date, the situation has stabilized, and refunds are being made to consumers. Efforts to refund 18 consumers are ongoing with the amount to be refunded totaling 434,000 tenge.
- Thank you for the interview.
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