President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
I propose discussing development of online trade today. This is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors; it has a big impact on the effectiveness and profitability of a business, and opens up new opportunities for people to obtain the necessary goods and services quickly and conveniently.
In Russia and all around the world, online trade is a fast-growing sector. Experts assessed its worth at 760 billion rubles in 2015 and they predict that this figure will increase to around 850 billion rubles this year.
However, this rapid growth of online trade has its issues as well. Laws and regulations do not always keep up with the rapid pace of change in the sector, and Russian and foreign players in this sector often end up in unequal conditions.
Our position is that there should be a level playing field for all players on this market. This applies to Russian businesses and to our foreign partners. Our foreign colleagues should rest assured that they will always benefit from conditions that are as good as those that Russian businesses enjoy. However, Russian businesses should not be in a worse position than their foreign colleagues. This is something we need to reflect on.
I think it important for Russia to have its own strong and influential online trading platforms. This would also help us to promote Russian goods and services more effectively not only at home but on markets abroad as well.
We have addressed this subject before and we discussed it in spring and in the summer. I know the Government is working actively on this issue and is drafting a package of measures to improve the online trade environment in Russia. Let us discuss these matters now.