Importance and challenges of digital trade in the EAEU
According to the Main Directions of the 2025 Digital Agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union, digital trade is one of the priority areas for implementing digital initiatives and projects of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
From consultations with EEC officials, government officials, and members of the business community of the EAEU member states, the authors of this report have learned about a number of problems and challenges faced by the European digital trade market players when operating on the domestic market and entering third-country markets. The range of problems includes both isolated local issues such as the need for harmonizing regulatory frameworks, removing trade barriers or simplifying administrative procedures, and systemic problems related to global competitiveness of systems and processes on the territory of the EAEU which carry the risk of added value flowing to third countries in the process of trading.
Set of measures to stimulate digital trade in the EAEU
The proposals set forth in the report are aimed at creating a competitive digital trading ecosystem in the Eurasian Economic Union. The authors of the report assert that it is necessary to develop cross-border digital services, stimulate the growth of the share of services in mutual trade, as well as the service component in the goods produced in the EAEU, and balance the regulation of the market of digital services and related products. A digital image of the product with a set of its characteristics and its digital counterparts, i.e. digital models, is becoming a separate and unique type of product. This is why the authors of the report propose forming digital assets and digitizing goods and services in the EAEU.
Another measure that is required to stimulate digital trade is to develop channels of digital trading within EAEU and trading services based on digital platforms. New trading models entail a contraction of value added chains in trade, a decrease in the number of intermediate chain links between the producer and the customer, and a transformation of internal processes of all the participants of supply chains and trading platforms. At the same time, it is also necessary to stimulate export of goods and services from the EAEU member states to third countries.
Finally, developing the digital trading infrastructure within EAEU and stimulating the use of domestically developed technologies will enable member states to compete more effectively with global digital trading ecosystems. The authors of the report emphasize that the EAEU member states should develop the digital trading infrastructure using their own technological solutions.
Joint effort in the outlined areas will let the EAEU member states improve their competitiveness by raising the maturity level of their digital trading ecosystem, boosting mutual trade in goods and services between themselves and with third countries, and by retaining producers and customers within their ecosystems.