While the world continues to change with the COVID-19 epidemic, the impact of coronavirus in e-commerce is increasing day by day. With the measures taken for the coronavirus pandemic, such as quarantine and curfews, consumers who avoided crowded and closed areas for the purpose of protection from the virus, preferred to meet their needs by going to shopping centers, markets and retail stores before the pandemic, using e-commerce infrastructure.
OECD data show that the share of e-commerce in retail sales in the UK and the USA started to rise at the beginning of 2020, especially when the effects of the coronavirus pandemic became global. While the share of e-commerce in retail sales in the last quarter of 2019 was approximately 12 percent for the USA and approximately 21 percent for the United Kingdom, in the second quarter of 2020 this rate increased to approximately 16 percent for the United States and approximately 32 percent for the United Kingdom.
With the growth in e-commerce; The importance of transportation and logistics activities carried out to deliver products to consumers is increasing day by day. The epidemic environment that emerged with COVID-19 revealed the importance of meeting the needs of people and companies as quickly as possible. E-commerce, which has become very important for many companies; contributed to the development of digital business models and strategies. In this process, it will be possible to facilitate commercial activities in our country in terms of facilitating the trade that the world's leading institutions and organizations have on their agenda, to support institutions that serve this purpose, and to raise awareness in this direction, with a comprehensive approach.
In this context, the Trade Facilitation Coordination Committee was established in 2017 under the auspices of the TR Ministry of Commerce in our country. As UTIKAD, the committee has been taking an active role since the day it was established, and we continue to offer our suggestions for the facilitating steps that should be taken for the benefit of our country and the sectors in order to carry out trade at international standards. We believe that these efforts, which will both protect the country's economies and facilitate trade and logistics flows, will play a major role in mitigating the negative effects of the pandemic.
UTIKAD Board Member Nil Tunaşar is currently the Chairman of the E-Commerce Focus Group, Innovation Focus Group established within UTIKAD.
Regarding this issue, we shared with the public the "E-Commerce and E-Export Development Potential and Logistics Processes Report in Turkey", which was prepared as a result of the work of UTIKAD E-Commerce Focus Group in 2019. The report published digitally on the UTIKAD website; especially aimed at facilitating the entry of SMEs into e-commerce and e-export and creating solutions for overcoming the obstacles in front of e-export. At the point we have reached today; Due to the dynamics that developed after the pandemic, it should be mentioned that the updating studies are continuing by the UTIKAD E-Commerce Focus Group.
Within the scope of the Innovation Focus Group studies, sector report studies for the development of the Digital Logistics Platform model continue rapidly. The sector report to be prepared will reveal the cost, speed and security gains of the digitalization of documents, data and information used in transportation and approval processes through an upper platform that will integrate all digital structures. A pilot model will be designed in which the parties of the relevant burden are brought together.
At the same time, as UTIKAD, we work as representatives of our members in the TOBB E-Commerce Assembly, TIM E-Trade Council and the Freight Transportation and Logistics Services Sector Committee within HIB and continue our work.
- Freight Transport and Logistics Services Sub-Sector Committee: It aims to provide permanent and effective solutions to the problems of service exporters operating in the sector through the Freight Transport and Logistics Services Sector Committee within the Service Exporters Association, and Nil Tunaşar is a committee that aims to increase the competitiveness of the sector companies. .
- E-Export Council: Nil Tunaşar represents UTIKAD in the council established in April 2021 under TİM. At the e-export consultation meeting held at the end of April, the advantages of e-export to our country and the importance of digital processes in the coronavirus process were mentioned, and it was evaluated that it was aimed to reach 10 billion USD e-export volume in 15-50 years and that it had this potential.
- Turkey E-Commerce Assembly: The Turkish Sector Assemblies established within TOOB are the most inclusive platforms in terms of representation of the sectors. One of these assemblies, the Turkish E-commerce Assembly was established in 2019 to develop suggestions for the solution of sector problems and to shed light on the regulation made by public institutions, Nil TUNAŞAR is in this committee He is representing UTIKAD.
I would like to state that we will continue to underline the strategic importance of Turkey's position and what needs to be done to become a global hub. We will continue to communicate our ideas and projects to the public for the rapid digitalization of our industry, facilitating trade and, of course, completing the global integration of our customs.
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UTİKAD Chairman of the Board