Economy, Business And Markets

Online system to Help Ease Trade

Online system to Help Ease Trade
Online system to Help Ease Trade

A “unified commercial window” will be opened on March 6, 2015, an online mechanism initiated by the government to facilitate inter-agency trade in Iran, said an official with the ministry of industry, mine and trade on Sunday.

All over the world, conducting trade at a global level requires commercial practitioners to provide public and private agencies with large amounts of data and documents, which is a time-consuming and costly practice and includes some parallel and redundant procedures.

On the occasion of the 8th national and the 2nd international conference on trade and e-economics, being held on October 19-21 in the Milad Tower International Conference Center in Tehran, Ali Asghar Tofigh, the deputy industry minister for training and research, said that once the new system is operational, Iranian merchants will no longer need to waste their time for going to these organizations.

Previously, the merchants needed to repeatedly go to the ministry of industry; Customs Administration, National Standards Organization, among other agencies to get the required certificates. But with the unified window system now, “they’ll be able to do the job online.”

A Government Electronic Procurement System (SETAD) for e-transactions has already started operation in 5 provinces, said Tofigh. However, he added that “most of the ministries are not connected to this system yet.”

Regarding the status of e-trade, Tofigh said that so far 5,700 safe websites for e-commerce have been using trust logos, “but the total number of websites that are conducting business activities amounts to more than 15,000.”

He said that the proportion of e-commerce in Iran is negligible when compared to the number of internet users in Iran, which comprises nearly half of the population.

“In the past Iranian year (ending March 20, 2014), only 9,000 electronic transactions were conducted in the country, a number that needs to be increased drastically,” said the official.

 Ministry Against Charging POS Fees

Tofigh said that the ministry of industry, mine and agriculture opposes charging transaction fees on Point of Sale (POS) terminals, as it contradicts the aim of developing e-commerce in the country.

The central bank has recently announced a decision to charge POS terminal holders a 1,000-1,500 rial fee per transaction. The law was supposed to be implemented as of October 23, 2014. The directive is now awaiting Money and Credit Council’s final decision before being implemented.