E-commerce study tour in Dubai supports Central Asian businesses and policymakers

31 marzo 2023
ITC News

As part of the Harnessing the potential of e-commerce in Central Asia conference in Dubai, a delegation from five Central Asian countries spent two days meeting e-commerce enablers and ecosystem representatives. This tour was organized by Ready4Trade Central Asia project funded by the European Union (EU). 

As e-commerce grows worldwide, a delegation from Central Asia turned to Dubai to identify opportunities, to discover the latest technologies, and to learn best practices.  

Upon returning home, policymakers will be equipped to introduce initiatives to support e-commerce. Businesses will know how to optimize their operations and improve their performance to stay ahead in the highly competitive industry. 


First-hand experience of the latest logistic tech advancements 

E-commerce relies on logistics. Getting products to consumers in shape and on time is essential. To experience the next generation of logistics and supply chain management in an interactive showroom, the delegation visited the DHL MEA Innovation Center. Participants deep dived into the latest logistics trends and customer-centric innovations. They tested new technologies such as exoskeletons, extended reality, and logistic robotics. 


Warehouse logistics innovations to scale business 

Participants visited the Dubai CommerceCity, a free zone for digital trade. Dubai has created several sector-specific free zones that offer incentives to companies that set up operations there.  

At the CommerceCity logistic cluster, participants learned about new warehousing solutions and services.  

Seeing the latest warehouse management and storage technology showed how logistic operations can be optimized to reduce costs and improve efficiency.  


Free zone business setup advantages  

The Central Asian delegation met with representatives from the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), which is tasked with positioning Dubai as the globe’s ultimate trade hub.  They learned about the advantages of the free-zone environment, such as 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, simplified regulatory processes, and access to world-class infrastructure and facilities.  


Benefits of belonging to an innovation community 

The participants also visited AstroLabs, a technology hub and training academy that specializes in supporting startups and entrepreneurs in the region. They learned about the various resources and support programs available for startups and entrepreneurs in Dubai.  

AstroLabs creates a cluster of companies that benefit from each other's expertise and resources. The hub helps companies develop a startup idea, build viable products, raise funds, and scale their business. AstroLabs partners with the DMCC to create a special license enabling start-ups to set up in the free zone with zero upfront costs.  

The two-day study tour rounded out the panel discussions and workshop at the conference, titled Harnessing the potential of e-commerce in Central Asia. The conference will help business representatives from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to identify opportunities and succeed in the highly competitive e-commerce industry. 


About the project 

Ready4Trade Central Asia is a four-year EU-funded project implemented by the International Trade Centre in close collaboration with national partners, designed to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the countries of the region. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular women-led enterprises, and business support organizations.