GLOBALink | Digital economy helps enterprises expand market in China's Nanchang

Published in CHINA
Friday, 16 December 2022 16:57

An e-commerce industrial park in China's Nanchang has been an incubator for dozens of enterprises, which are seeking to boost sales and promote their brands through livestreaming.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

Steadfast transit to digital economy is a factor of successful integration of modern system of the global economy

Published in Economics
Friday, 21 August 2020 15:40

Introduction of digital system into all spheres and branches of national economy is a main direction of the Programme of the President of Turkmenistan for social and economic development of the country in 2020 – 2025 and important condition for achievement of the level of developed countries, provision of stable rates of economic growth based on knowledge and innovations.

The solution of this objectives will also support to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted by all country members including our state of the UN until 2030.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has specified active implementation of information technologies, establishment of safe IT infrastructure, which provides relative terms for rapid digitization process, which gains acceleration every day, among national strategic priorities in mid-term perspective.

Gradual and steadfast transit to digital economy is an important factor of successful integration of our state to modern system of the world economy.

Today, all countries of the world pay special attention to digitization, legimately thinking that future level of the world economic growth will depend from the efficiency of using of digital technologies.

Competiveness, innovations and opening of new work places, all of these is mainly determined by the technologies. That is why Turkmenistan actively pursues the course toward rapid modernization by cultivation of new industries using application of digital technologies.

Review of objectives taking into account current external factors of globalization and appearing risks is required in any sphere. The Ministry of Finances and Economy, which practically implements financial, tax and budgetary, investment and pricing policy, policy in the sphere of insurance, auditing activity, accounting, financial reporting, financial safety as well as coordination of work of all ministries and departments of the country for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, carries out big work for digitization.

The Single Portal of the State Service of Turkmenistan (e.gov.tm) presents the website of the Ministry of Finances and Economy (fineconomic.gov.tm), Tax Department (tax.gov.tm) and Service of Financial Monitoring (turkmenfmd.gov.tm/) together with websites of other ministries, departments, establishments and organizations of the country.

The website of the Ministry has been updated, informational content has been expanded, in particular the page of Sustainable Development Goals and their implementation has been added.

Legal and regulatory base for digitization of activity has been made in the country. It is permanently improved taking into account modern requirements, scientific and technical developments including exchange of data and electronic documents, general identification processes. Work for introduction of digital technologies in regional services and lower structures is carried out on this base.

Central balance commission coordinates development of methodological bases of internal system controls of accounting and reporting of economic entities. Digital systems have started to be introduced in this sphere in the last years.

Thus, digital support is used during the sessions. It includes provision of huge volume of analytical and calculation materials reflecting outcomes of financial and economic activity of the branches, facilities and organizations to the members of the sessions. In future, this work will be arranged with regional commissions, in particular by introduction of information technologies.

According to the Law of Turkmenistan on Accounting and Financial Reporting, initial accounting documents and registers will be made in hard and soft copies and both formats have equal legitimate validity.

Digitization of accounting has started to be applied starting from collection of initial data to producing of reporting. Programme products for automation of accounting and reporting are developed and started to be used. In future, it will be implemented in all spheres. However, capability of provision of qualitative, reliable and convenient accounting is the main requirement for the software.

Adoption of the Law of Turkmenistan on Electronic Document, Electronic Document Management System and Digital Services, which specifies legal provision of these documents and services and their main requirements, was an important event of this year. The law is aimed at regulation of relations appearing in this sphere as well as at establishment of single space for informational exchange.

Based on this law and by the request of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the Ministry of Finance and Economy has introduced electronic document management system in the Central Administration, General Finance and Economy Departments of Ashgabat and regions as well as in all structures under its supervision from July 1 this year.

It has allowed significantly improving the exchange of information, efficiency of using of work time, making the base for archiving of materials and provision of control for timely fulfilment of the documents.

System of Electronic tax is introduced to document management system of Tax department. The main goal of this system is to transfer to electronic format of obtaining of tax declaration from taxpayers, which will facilitate the system of reporting from one hand and to enforce control of collection of tax payments including provision of information to tax payers about arrears to the State Budget of the country on another hand.

At the same time, it is proposed to make desk audits of taxpayers in electronic format without invitation of them to relative authorities and based on tax declarations and other documents. Activity with crediting organizations for establishment of electronic document management system will be introduced on the second stage.

The Department of the State Registration of legal entities and investment projects also works on introduction of the electronic document management system in certain procedures related to the state registration, re-registration and elimination of legal entities.

At present time, local network between the central administration and regional registration departments has been established and operates. It allowed facilitating the system of agreeing on the documents between structural divisions in the regions and Ashgabat.

Automated order of reception of applications for confirmation of name of legal entities and approval of documents for their registration or re-registration is introduced. It will also give an opportunity to increase the level and quality of work of registration departments, eliminate barriers and reduce material and physical cost of citizens and legal entities in registration procedures.

The website of the Ministry has published normative documents and list of required documents, samples of applications in the section of registration of legal entities. Online format of applications has been made. It is planned to organize payment for registration and confirmation of names in online format.

Structure of new database of the Single State Register of Legal Entities (SSRLE) is under development. Soon, it is planned to launch several online services for registration of legal entities as well as to facilitate the order of registration and provision of information from the SSRLE.

Objectives and measures of digitization are discussed at the government sessions and meetings. The Head of the State always points out that innovations are not only implemented technologies but the process of their permanent update and the way of further development of Turkmen economy.

Financial and economic sector gradually improve work for digitization, introduces electronic systems to various activities. Thus, organization of various online seminars, conferences, trainings with international financial institutes, organizations and foreign partners has been established.

“Invest to Turkmenistan” website (invest.gov.tm) has been opened for fulfilment of assignments of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on promotion of information about economic reforms, projects of regional and international significance, attraction of investments of foreign and international banks, financial institutes and industrial groups.

Digitization is very important for implementation of the SDGs providing many opportunities for economic and social growth. Development of information society and entire complex of digital technologies and services is carried out by digital transformation, which is the main vector in achievement of the SDGs.

Implementation of economic potential of Turkmenistan in the context of the SDGs is significantly expanded, opportunity of branches during transfer to digitization, which main directions make direct effect on achievement of several goals in the sphere of sustainable development, is activated.

These goals are: the Goal no.8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, Goal No. 9: Industrialization, Innovations and Infrastructure”, Goal no. 10 “Reduced Inequalities within and among Countries”, Goal No. 12 “Responsible Production and Consumption”, Goal no. 17 “Partnership for the Goals”.

To some extent, use of digital technologies effects implementation of other sustainable development goals. Taking into account that our country has already integrated the SDGs in different state, profile and regional programmes, the transit to digital economy will allow accelerating social and economic progress of our state. At present, financial nd economic sector together with statistic bodies actively works on establishment of the SDG database.

International online seminar on financing of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals has been organized last May. It was dedicated to the role of integrated national financing mechanisms and was a part of events under the Decade of Activity for achievement of the SDGs in Turkmenistan. It has also become one of important events in the programme of activities honoured to glorious 25th anniversary of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan.

Delegations on ministerial level of the country members of the UN Special Programme for Economies of Central Asia (UN SPECA), representatives of the UN European Economic Commission, number of other UN agencies, international financial institutes such as the World bank, International Monetary Fund and other took part in the meeting.

This is another visual example how the use of digital video conference communication allowed active implementation of planned events inside the country with participation of international institutes and organizations.

Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Partnership between the Ministry of Finances and Economy of Turkmenistan and Swiss company SICPA SA, which is specialized in secured identification, signed last January was another important measure in integration of our country to international trade and economic and financial relations including in trade and tax spheres, prevention of spread of counterfeit production.

Cooperation with one of the leaders in this sphere allowed mastering and implementing modern technologies in our country, which would be the base for the formation of new digital environment and development of digital economy in general.

Objectives of rapid industrialization of the country set by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov can be solved with active development of colossal volumes of current world information and rapid exchange of data.

This is a highest priority taking into account joining of Turkmenistan as an observer to the World Trade Organization in July this year. Cooperation in electronic trade is discussed on the WTO platform at present. In near future, electronic commerce will be an important and perspective direction of development in our country as well.

For implementation of budgetary reform, introduction of the Budgetary Code and transfer to result-based budgeting, introduction of intellectual technologies will support to establishment of actual state system of management of financial information, which provides precise control of budgetary resources, rational management and use.

Acceleration of work of financial sector and economy in general by digitization, provision of efficiency, trustfulness, accuracy and high quality of information provided to the participants of the process of development, execution and reporting on the budget is the main advantage of this system.

Perspectives of development of digital financial and economic institutes of Turkmenistan a related to development and application of compatible programmes and digital solutions providing reliable traceability of document management and reporting. It is proposed to expand the range of advance technologies, which will significantly enhance efficiency of economic processes.

Introduction of single registration window, full transit of work of tax authorities with taxpayers to online system will allow not only improving the work of all economic entities but also making favourable environment for business and improving investment attractiveness of the country.

Digital transformation based on use of latest technologies provides not only opening of new work places but also the provision of higher level of relations of economic entities by the formation of new standards of their social behavior.

Digitization implies rapid transit to innovative way, stimulation of business and investment activity, growth of labor employment in scientific branches and work efficiency both in government and private sections, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlights. In the result, all of these will make positive effect on improvement of life quality and wellbeing of our people.

The state news agency of Turkmenistan

 

Digital Turkmenistan extends its presence in the world informational space

Published in Society
Monday, 03 August 2020 21:23

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov targets ministries and departments of the country to study of the best world practice and modern advance practice. Following this analysis and according to objectives determined by national programmes of development, fundamental line of modernization and branches and spheres of live activity of the state are built. Digitization and use of informational and communication technologies are the main conditions in this case.

Responding to this targeted objectives, the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan also carries out relative work activating electronic format of its activity and expanding its presence in global information field.

Several innovations have been launched on web resources of the Foreign Ministry on August 1, which are to popularize achievements of Turkmenistan, success of the state policy pursued by the Leader of the Nation, to highlight international life of the country.

In particular, electronic library of books of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has been opened on official website dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan www.neutrality.gov.tm.

This collection of works of the Head of the State will enrich knowledge of interested reader, will be an important help for representatives of scientific circles, social and political scientists. In his works, Turkmen leader has reflected the uniqueness of national culture, variety and wisdom of traditions, everlasting importance of the heritage, revealed numerous pages of glorious history of the nation as well as modern strategies and results of reforms in politics, economy, humanitarian cooperation.

All of these is available now to huge world online auditorium – in addition to Turkmen language, electronic library gas translations of the books of the Head of Turkmenistan almost on 20 languages, first, to working languages of the United Nations Organization. The books on the website are presented in 3D format while the reading is accompanied with audio and visual effects, for example, there is an option of turning the pages with typical rustling.

The same website has introduced new section – online exhibition, which is also dedicated to the 25th anniversary of neutrality of Turkmenistan. This virtual exhibition presents almost of industries of the country, their main departments and organizations, various national production including export oriented production.

In addition to sections dedicated to industry, oil and gas, transport and communications, trade, education, science, health protection and sports, agriculture, culture, each velayats of the country and the capital Ashgabat have their own electronic displays.

In general, 15 thematic sections speak about life of independent neutral Turkmenistan, visually demonstrate the results of grandiose changes carried out by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Substantial content, numerous photos and video materials will help visitors of online exhibition to have a bright impression about our country, its colossal economic potential.

In addition, the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan has started publishing International News newspaper in electronic format, which first release has been published on the website of the Foreign Ministry.

Taking into account active development of diplomatic activity through video conference and intendent communications, such newspaper will be an important analytical tools in modern media space, will allow saving time and resources for review of foreign political events and trends in life of Turkmenistan.

Digital messenger of the Foreign Ministry will be released once a week and distributed on internet channels including addressed newsletter to the embassies and consulates of Turkmenistan to foreign countries, foreign diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan as well as to international news agencies based on agreements of cooperation, etc.

Therefore, another step has been made in formation of substantial and truthful picture of Turkmenistan as a country open for cooperation with all interested partners of the country, its integration to global system of communications, exchange of actual knowledge and practice of the state construction, promotion of constructive international initiatives of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in the world arena.

The state news agency of Turkmenistan

 

Handmade culture in Georgia: how traditional crafts are contributing to the economy

Published in Culture
Tuesday, 22 May 2018 15:29

Georgian folk craftsmen are transforming traditional crafts into a source of economic income with the support of an EU-financed project.

Heritage crafts as a source of income

Culture is a source of inclusive growth and job creation and the global trade in creative products has continued to expand in recent years, despite economic uncertainty. Cultural heritage is a universal value, an important expression of cultural diversity – that is why preserving it and passing it on to future generations is so important.

According to Nino Samvelidze, Programme Manager for Youth, Culture and Digital Society at the EU Delegation to Georgia, cultural diversity is one of the main values of the EU, and this is why it aims to support the preservation and development of cultural traditions of different countries.

Having realised this, the EU has announced 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage. In this article, we showcase the stories of Georgian craftsmen participating  in the EU-supported project “Folk Crafts Perspectives in Georgia”. Thanks to the project’s support, the craftsmen develop and grow their enterprises, pass on their expertise to others, so that heritage crafts can become a source of income in Georgia. 

“It is important that work in heritage crafts, which is rather widespread in our country, becomes a source of income and employment, and this is one of the objectives of the project,” explains Nino.

The Georgian Arts and Culture Centre selected 21 art studios to provide with funding. The total budget was €617,128, with €489,168 coming from the EU.  The Head of the Centre, Maka Dvalishvili believes that successful beneficiaries had to have an interest in and potential for development. One of the requirements to receive funding was that the beneficiary must teach their skill to at least five students.

“Our main goal is to preserve traditional Georgian crafts and to adapt them to modern market requirements, i.e. by transforming the craft into a business. Overall, this gives economic benefit,” explains Maka.

Maka, an art historian, says the culture of craftsmanship is widespread across Georgia. She says the main characteristic of folk craftsmanship is that the products must be handmade and not manufactured in a factory. Some parts may be factory-supplied, but they have to be finished by hand.  

“Folk craftsmanship started when mankind created stone tools, carved patterns on stone and developed aesthetic vision,” explains Maka. 

The Georgian Arts and Culture Centrehas been working towards the development of heritage crafts since its establishment in 1995. Maka says that, since that period, craftsmen have received support to develop quality and design, and to study the market.

In 2012, in cooperation with the EU in the framework of the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme, the Georgian Arts and Culture Centre implemented another project - Strengthening Creative Industries in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: Heritage Crafts - Common Platform for Development.

Apart from workshops and seminars, the programme also conducted a study of 500 experts in heritage crafts. The results of the study highlighted the current situation of the heritage crafts market, and a strategy was developed based on the results.

Lali Sadaghashvili: Felt craft

About 20 km northwest of Tbilisi in the historic town of Mtskheta, near the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a variety of stalls can be found selling a vast array of products. Among them is Lali Sadaghashvili’s stall, where she sells woollen toys and other handcrafted products. 

On display at Lali’s stall you can find woollen toys, felt scarf, hand knitted shoes, wool jewellery and various other accessories – all handmade by her and her family. Lali sells her handcrafted products to the constant stream of tourists who walk past the stalls each day.

In the evening, when the flow of tourists declines, Lali returns home. If she is not too tired, she continues working in the studio set up on the ground floor of her house. This is where Lali’s enterprise, Nerbi, is based. If Lali is unable to work, her three children and spouse work to provide her with new items for the stall.

In Lali’s studio, there is one large table with a tap nearby to supply the water required for felt production. There are shelves installed on the wall in the room, with all the necessary materials and fabric, as well as a sewing machine and a wool felting iron.

Lali and her husband, Rasula Kevkhishvili, set up the enterprise in 2014, after they received EU funding from the Folk Crafts Perspective in Georgia project. They received 8000 GEL in funding, which they used to completely renovate the room and to purchase the table, chairs and necessary equipment. Lali, who has been working with wool for 16 years, says the project funding helped her to fulfil her lifelong aspiration.

“It is not an exaggeration, I fulfilled my dream. I always wanted to have a studio I would enter and forget everything, where I would have a table and I could work,” says Lali Sadaghashvili.

Lali used to work in the railway industry as a telecommunications specialist. She started to use her craftsmanship skills when she was made redundant. Today, handicrafts provide her main source of income.

“I remember at first when I earned 14 GEL, then 44 GEL, and it went on gradually. Initially, I was focused on toys, but now I see that hand knitted shoes also sell well,” says Lali.

At first, Lali’s spouse, Rasula, did not consider felt craft as a serious business, but over the course of time, he changed his mind. Now, he also works in the enterprise alongside his job in the railway industry.

“My wife used to talk about what she could make from wool but I was not really interested. I thought it was just a hobby and I was too busy with my work. Finally, she persuaded me to get involved and it turned into a family business,” says Rasula.

Felt is one of the oldest methods of creating and processing fabric. It is a traditional Georgian folk craft which attracts huge interest from tourists to the country. For this reason, Nerbi also provides workshops for tourists. Wet felting was one of the most recent masterclasses held for a group of tourists. The studio that was set up through EU support enables Lali to demonstrate the process of her work to tourists.

Lali also gives classes in Mtskheta gymnasium on how to make various items from wool. Through the EU project, she is responsible for teaching five students. She says that in four years she has already taught 16 students.

The support received through the EU project has empowered Lali, and she now has a monthly income of 1500 GEL. She hopes to open a shop in the historic part of Mtskheta and hire a shop assistant in the future.

Otar Sharabidze: Pottery

Otar Sharabidze is one of the expert folk craftsmen who received funding from the EU. The 67-year-old ceramicist currently lives about 60km southwest of Tbilisi, in Tetritsqaro.

Otar studied ceramics 40 years ago at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts. After graduating, he worked in different factories within the former Soviet Union and created production sketches. He has been working independently since the 1990s. In 1996, Otar went to Istanbul where he taught at one of the universities. In 2014, he returned to Georgia where he settled in Tetritsqaro. He bought a house which was built in the nineteenth century in the historic part of the city, and now he plans to host pottery classes for tourists there. 

Otar told us that he bought a house with a yard especially to facilitate his work. He plans to set up a studio and accommodation in the house so that he can rent out two rooms to ceramicists and other interested people and work together with them.

Otar’s yard measures 1 500 m2  and provides the ideal place for his studio, which is 30m2. Water supply, electric and natural gas pottery kilns, a pottery wheel and other necessary equipment will be installed in the studio.

Otar brought an electric kiln by bus from Turkey and purchased the pottery wheel and gas kiln through EU funding. He says that having both gas and electric kilns will help him diversify his work.

The ceramicist says that with a gas oven he can make products using the Raku technique, which involves removing the piece from the hot kiln, putting it into leaves or wood dust, and covering it. This process creates a glaze on the pottery.

Otar says that his pottery is not only decorative; it also has a practical function. He says that each piece he creates is unique and is never repeated.

“I produce only one copy, I always try to create original work. This is typical of folk craft; new items are made all the time. Pottery is one of the oldest forms of art, and it is developing constantly. It is interesting to look at old ceramics but you also want to introduce something new,” Otar insists.

Otar says he will complete the renovation of the house in a month, and then will start work teaching pottery and hosting holidaymakers in Tetritsqaro.

Art Studio Snoveli, Kazbegi

Art Studio Snoveli was established by father and son Bidzina Snoveli (73 years old) and Mindia Ghudushauri (43 years old), in the village of Sno in the mountainous region of Kazbegi. Together they make wooden armchairs, tables, beds, and carve the furniture by hand. 

Mindia was born in Tbilisi, but his father was in born Sno. Bidzina, a qualified architect, left Sno after graduating from university, and studied woodwork in Makhachkala. “My father wanted to pass on his expertise to others. He has a very skilled technique; he only works by hand,” says Mindia. Bidzina says that he had talented students, but as his sales are not yet stable he cannot employ them.

The father and son set up Art Studio Snoveli in 2015 and bought the initial necessary materials through funding from the Children’s and Youth Support Fund. Then, through support from the project Folk Crafts Perspectives in Georgia, they purchased various woodwork tools and printed booklets in three languages: Georgian, English and Russian.

“The booklet is like a business card for our studio, you can show it to people wherever you go,” says Mindia.

Mindia wants to set up an exhibition space in Sno where they could receive guests and display the items produced in the studio. The furniture made by Snoveli contains carvings representing peacocks, griffins, turtledoves, bulls, the Borjgali symbol, various geometric shapes from different regions of Georgia, and figures from Georgian mythology.

Fourth grade student Saba Sabauri (8 years old) attends Sno School, located next to the Snoveli studio. He tells us that after classes he comes to the studio and learns to draw. After drawing, he will study woodwork.

“I mainly draw mountains and churches. Mountains are beautiful. My sister studied drawing; she would hang her drawings once she had finished them. I wanted to draw beautiful pictures as well, so I started to learn. I would also like to study wood burning,” says Saba. 

Keti Akiashvili (also aged 8) is another of Mindia’s students. Keti also attends the drawing classes and looks forward to starting to work on wood instead of a paper. “I learned how to draw villages and animals; how to create lines and shadows,” says Keti.

According to an EU-supported study in 2014, 1500 people were employed in the heritage crafts industry in Georgia. This accounts for 0.07% of the economically active population. 84% of the respondents worked on their own, while 16% hired employees.

Their main challenge now is to adapt heritage crafts to modern market requirements to enable them to benefit financially from the crafts.

Author: Misha Meparishvili

 

 

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