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Com21 Conference in Riga Can Become a Regular Event: Opinions of the Participants

16-Nov-2012 / Products & Services
eCom21 – the largest international business forum in the Baltic region in the field of e-commerce and online business – has concluded in Riga yesterday. According to references of its participants, the conference turned out to be successful and valuable and was highly professionally organised.

This forum took place in Riga for the first time and, in the opinion of the delegates, it could become traditional in the future. The conference organiser is Rietumu Bank.

The conference took place during two days in the Latvian capital city and was arranged in the business centre of the Radisson Blu Latvia Hotel. It has assembled more than 20 speakers and 250 participants from Russia and other CIS countries, Europe, the USA, Israel, Canada, Australia and New Zeeland.

The conference was attended by top managers from Visa Europe and MasterCard (they have presented separate reports), professional participants of the e-commerce market, experts in tax legislation and lawyers, managers of European and Russian banks, investment, audit and service companies, hotel and transport businesses, financial advisors and journalists

Partners of eCom21 are the world leaders of the instant payment market QIWI and the Russian processing company PayOnline. According to the estimate of the First Vice-president of Rietumu Bank Ruslan Stecjuk, the conference is an example of a well-organised forum, and it has allowed for finding out not only about the latest tendencies which are important for the practical work, but also to establish perspective business contacts. “We have heard a lot of positive assessments from foreign entrepreneurs arriving to eCom21. In the future, participation in the Riga conference can become not only useful, but also prestigious in the professional environment,” says Ruslan Stecjuk.

During the first day of eCom21, the issues of development, licensing and regulation of the electronic payment market, organisation of the structure and business management in the field of e-commerce based on the European trade accounts, the specifics of using electronic money, as well as nuances of the legislative basis of e-commerce in the EU and Russia were discussed.

On the second day of the forum, the accentuated issues were perspectives of attracting venture capitals in the sphere of e-commerce, the specifics of tax regulation of this business and possibilities of using Latvia as a ‘platform’ for e-com operations, as well as such subjects were discussed as tendencies of transfer of offline business into online, perspectives of payment platforms, capabilities of data processing and storage centres, securing safety of operations on the internet and other aspects which are topical for the practical activities.

Senior Partner of the Russian investment company Third Rome Black River Ventures, Evgeny Kaltashev, when giving a presentation on attracting venture capital for e-commerce development, noted that these capabilities are related to the degree of maturity of a project. “At the start-up stage, assessment on the part of a venture fund will be minimal. However, when a business is already established, when it operates according to a stable model and has a stable circle of clients, its value in the eyes of an investor is proportionately growing,” emphasised Mr. Kaltashev. Other important criteria, in the opinion of the expert, are a clear understanding of one’s niche on the market, the competitiveness level, conformity of the attracted financing to the development plans, professional management and the company’s reputation.

An expert of Rietumu Bank in the area of currency payments, Michael Kuznetsov, spoke about tendencies of the world e-commerce market development. The specialist has drawn attention of the participants to the fact that the internet is gradually expelling practically whole segments of the offline market, and many companies are forced to radically reconsider their business models today and search for their place in the online environment. Considerable metamorphoses, according to Mr. Kuznetsov, are also taking place in the banking sector. “Banks offer increasingly more possibilities for remote management of funds and virtual communication with specialists. Therefore, a bank, as a physical building, is nowadays losing its function and it does not need a wide network of branch offices anymore.” Besides, the Rietumu Bank expert forecasts that the increasingly big role in this business will be played by a brand, as recognition and reputation are the key factors of success in the online environment.

A separate section at eCom21 was devoted to the specifics of tax regulation of the e-commerce business on the basis of European companies. The specialist of the Latvian law office Prime Consulting, Tatyana Lyutinskaya, talked about changes in the Latvian Republic legislation to take effect in 2013, which anticipate a maximally favourable regime for international holdings, including the ones related to e-commerce.

The Chief Partner of Deloitte and expert in taxation in the Baltic States, Igor Rodin, spoke about the possibilities of efficient use of Latvian companies for organising commercial business structures.

In the second half of the day, guests of the forum discussed technological solutions in the field of e-commerce and topical issues of avoiding risks during electronic payments.

Following the official closure of the conference, its participants had an excursion to the most modern museum of arts in the Baltic – Riga Stock Exchange – and watched a light show on the Dome Cathedral.

More information is available on the website ecom21.com.

Eleonora Gailisha
Mass Media and Public Relations
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