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Anna Nesterova took part in the BRICS Business Forum

August 16, 2021

Anna Nesterova took part in the BRICS Business Forum
On August 16, the BRICS Business Forum started by videoconference, the theme of which was the strengthening of BRICS business ties in the interests of sustainable growth and development. The Forum was attended by representatives of various business sectors from all countries of the "five".

The session “Using digital technologies to improve governance and accelerate growth” was moderated by Himanshu Kapania, Deputy Chairman of Grasim Industries. Daniel Stevelberg (Brazil), Tushar Parikh (India), Meng Schusen (China) and Futi Mahaniele-Dabengwa (South Africa) also spoke at the discussion.

Meng Schusen, President of China Unicom, spoke to the videoconference participants about China's experience in digital governance during the pandemic and his country's success in the digital economy. The speaker also drew attention to the importance of cooperation between the BRICS countries in the field of technology, reducing the digital divide, smart manufacturing and eliminating the consequences of the pandemic through digitalization.

In her speech, Naspers CEO Way Mahaniele-Dabengwa focused on supporting small and medium-sized businesses, increasing jobs and the need for greater inclusion in developing countries.

Russia was represented by Anna Nesterova, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Global Rus Trade and Chairperson from Russia of the Working Group on the Digital Economy of the BRICS Business Council.

In her speech, Anna Nesterova drew attention to the peculiarities of digitalization in Russia and the BRICS countries, as well as the urgency of such a problem as digital inequality. The speaker emphasized that digitalization should contribute to the growth of general prosperity and improve the situation of the most vulnerable segments of the population.

Anna also noted the priorities of Russia in the field of digital transformation. Development of IT infrastructure, digitalization of public administration and digital security are key points of the digital agenda in Russia, which the country is promoting, including in the international arena.

Answering a question about the success of e-commerce in Russia, the speaker pointed out that Russia is indeed a leading country in this regard: the volume of the e-commerce market in the country in 2020 increased by 52% compared to 2019, and in the next 3 years Russia will be the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world. At the same time, 2020 can also be called the year of the “marketplace boom”: almost 50% of Russian online orders were made on large universal platforms. According to the speaker, the basis for this phenomenon was laid by the conditions created in the country before the pandemic, which only accelerated these trends.

The last question related to proposals for inclusion in a digital strategy aimed at empowering start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses. One of the major obstacles to digital business development, according to Anna, is digital illiteracy. Therefore, a very important step in overcoming it is the creation of a digital literacy program in the BRICS countries. In conclusion, Anna shared her experience in implementing similar projects.