MOSCOW. Dec 7 (Interfax) - An e-commerce platform is being set up in the Russian Far east to enable local farmers to trade with foreign buyers and which will, for example, have a Chinese version, the Far East Development Ministry said in a press release.
"The Online Hectare Marketplace is a universal portal that will connect recipients of land in the Far East to suppliers of goods and services, including banks, logistics companies, accounting firms and so on," said Evgenia Loginova, Senior Vice President of BPC Banking Technologies, the platform‘s developer and operator.
Loginova said anyone participating in the Far East Hectare program would have not only the tools needed to start developing their land as quickly as possible but also a market to sell their produce.
"For example the recipients of Far East hectares as well as small and medium businesses in the region will be able to open their own e-stores within the platform, which will make their goods visible not just nationwide but also abroad," Loginova said.
Leonid Petukhov, General Director of the Far East Investment and Export Agency, said most businesses in Russia‘s Far East focused not just on the domestic market but on the external one also, above all countries from the Asia-Pacific region. "The emergence of a universal resource, the Marketplace, will enable manufacturers to find new partners the world over and get exports of their goods up and running," he said.
A similar project has been set up in China, where the ULE platform connects hundreds and thousands of remote villages. The platform today trades in more than 3 million quality goods, from milk to footwear. In Russia, though, a comprehensive approach was adopted, linking the technology to the Far East Hectare Program. A Russian citizen gets land free of charge, applies for state support and, aided by the Marketplace, acquires the goods and services needed to develop the land, then eventually sells the produce via the system.
"Russia is one of the world‘s leading countries in terms of the internetization of the population. We see a need on the part of Far East Hectare program participants for new instruments and new markets to sell the produce that the land is already yielding, and to acquire the necessary services on the universal platform. It is for this purpose that we, in conjunction with our partners, are developing the online platform with the self-explanatory title "Online hectare" which we expect to launch in trial mode as early as the first half of 2018," said Valentin Timkov, General Director of the Far East Human Capital Development Agency.
The launch of this platform will not only reduce the number of links in the supply chain and organize the logistics but will also make it possible to tap the Asian and Pacific markets.
Far East Development Manager Alexander Galushka said the state would try and take the opinions of citizens into consideration to ensure the support mechanism is effective and as convenient for possible for those who really want to develop the land they have received.
The Online Hectare Marketplace is being developed as part of the state Far East Hectare program which entitles each Russian citizen to receive a plot of up to 1 hectare of land in the Far East free of charge.
The Far East Hectare law was enacted in June 2016. Each Russian citizen received the right to register title to a free hectare of land in the Far East beginning in February 2017. So far, 107,000 applications have been made, and 33,000 hectares have already been granted, with another 5,500 approved. Interest is particularly strong among residents of large cities, above all Moscow: some 3,300 applications for Far East hectares have been received from residents of Moscow and the Moscow region, 1,200 from residents of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, 672 from the Krasnodar territory and 645 from the Sverdlovsk region.
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