Turkey aiming big in e-commerce: Minister

Turkey aiming big in e-commerce: Minister

Ahmet Can – ANTALYA
Turkey aiming big in e-commerce: Minister

Turkey is aiming for a larger share of the global e-commerce market, Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said during an International E-commerce Summit in the Mediterranean province of Antalya on Nov. 20.

Arslan added that Turkey’s e-commerce has boomed in recent years.

“Our countries have not yet reached our global e-commerce target. However, cooperation will enable us to increase our share of the pie two to three times in three to four years. Despite rapid growth in the sector, [Turkey’s] e-commerce accounts for just 3.5 percent of sales. Given that the global average is 8.5 percent, it is clear that we still have a long way to go,” he said.

Arslan also said developments in internet-related infrastructure had affected e-commerce in Turkey.

“China, the U.S., the U.K., Japan and Germany have the most advanced e-commerce sectors in the world. Tremendous development in communication and transportation infrastructure in Turkey has helped our e-commerce to boom,” he said.

Doğan Online and Hepsiburada Chairperson Hanzade Doğan Boyner, Head of Universal Postan Union Bishar Hussein and the undersecretaries of the economy and custom ministries, also attended the summit.

Doğan Boyner said it is important to “reverse the brain drain” through e-commerce, arguing that the research-development center founded by her company in 2017 provided the right sort of environment for Turkish engineers to develop products.

“We embrace human resources policies that allow native talent to return to the country. Every year we go to Silicon Valley and tell Turks about potentials in Turkey. We are also continuing our infrastructure investments,” she said.

Doğan Boyner said Doğan Online - part of Doğan Holding, which also owns the Hürriyet Daily News - created the biggest e-commerce operation center in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

“In 2016, we had the biggest e-commerce operation center in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, with a storage capacity of 100,000 square meters in Gebze and 10 million pieces of product available for shipment. With our group company ‘Hepsiexpress,’ we have created a new distribution model. We offer value-added services such as delivery on the same day, appointment delivery and weekend deliveries. With Hepsipay, we are working to make e-commerce payments easier. We are not making these investments solely for the benefit of the Hepsiburada brand. We also aspire to boost the whole ecosystem of the sector,” she said.

Doğan Boyner also said developing countries have been affected by e-importation.

“We think sanctions should be imposed on non-Turkish companies accessing the Turkish market through imports. This issue needs to be assessed carefully. Turkey is a big country with a lot of potential. The current retail rate of e-commerce is 3.5 percent while the world average is 8.5 percent. So there is potential for growth in Turkey,” she added.