Wildberries Expands Into Kyrgyzstan
Russia developing free trade ecommerce platforms into Central Asia
Wildberries the Russian online retail equivalent of Amazon, has just opened a distribution center in Kyrgyzstan, which will strengthen company’s partnership with local businesses, as well as speed up the delivery of local orders..
Wildberries first distribution center has opened in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital city. Entrepreneurs from Kyrgyzstan will be able to cut their own logistics costs, improve sales, and expand the range of their products on the market with improved access to Russia consumers. There is a simplified registration procedure on the website for Kyrgyz entrepreneurs.
Wildberries press release stated “The number of local entrepreneurs registered on our web platform increased 35 times year-on-year to 2,150 in the first quarter of this year. Clothing and footwear, as well as pet supplies, various kitchen utensils became the most popular goods sold locally. We hope that a new logistics facility will accelerate the further development of cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan and will increase delivery speeds of orders for residents of the country.”
Both Kyrgyzstan and Russia are members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) which provides Free Trade access to each others markets. Kyrgyzstan is land-locked, and borders China, its largest trade partner by far. However improved infrastructure connectivity as part of the Belt & Road Initiative has improved the countries foreign trade, which grew last year by 19.5%.
Developing platforms such as Wildberries into EAEU markets and elsewhere in Asia will be a core part of Russia’s pivot to Asia as it seeks new markets in the wake of its problems in the West.
In 2020, Russia exported about US$1.5 billion to Kyrgyzstan, while Kyrgyzstan exported goods to the value of about US$385 million. Much of the trade is industrial, however attention by players such as Wildberries will open up markets for SMEs and entrepreneurs in bilateral trade – and trade tourism.
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