Georgia - ECommerceGeorgia - ECommerce
E‐commerce is gaining a foothold as internet penetration increases year-by-year. By the end of 2018, 74 percent of households had broadband internet connections, and 55.2 percent of cellphone users used mobile internet.
The World Bank Group, with the support of the European Union under its EU4Digital program, has been preparing recommendations for the government on a national broadband development strategy. Such a strategy would define measures that promote the roll out of more, faster, and affordable internet services across Georgia. The government will consider the recommendations and subsequently prepare its strategy for consultation and adoption in 2019.
Credit card penetration is also increasing rapidly. As of April 2019 there were 6.7 million debit cards and 0.7 million credit cards issued across Georgia’s population of 3.7 million people. Cardholders can pay public utilities electronically and purchase goods. Electronic utilities payment is widespread through a growing network of electronic payment kiosks, particularly in larger cities. Electronic transactions over the last 4 years have increased significantly. For example, in March 2019, Georgian residents carried out 26.4 million transactions by payment cards worth $816 million, 92 percent of which were in-country transactions.
There are no major buying holidays for e-commerce specifically, except Black Friday, since most apparel and consumer goods shopping is done from U.S. sources, such as amazon.com. Other popular e-commerce sites are Alibaba, Aliexpress, Ebay, etc. Preferred payment methods include credit/debit card payments or PayPal.
Georgia is harmonizing the electronic flow of information among key players in the logistics, shipping and transport industries by launching the Trade Facilitation System (TFS). The TFS enables traders, customs brokers, freight forwarders, shipping lines and other players in international trade to submit information through a single entry point.
Georgia’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (MoESD) is currently engaged in developing a draft law on e-Commerce. The adoption of the EU e-Commerce Directive is part of the Georgian government’s commitment under its AA with the EU. The Law on e-Commerce will regulate the rights and obligations of intermediary service providers in the e-Commerce process, as well as protect consumers by making information services more transparent and standardized. The draft has passed committee hearings in the parliament and its adoption is planned in 2019.
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