BRICS Countries Bet on Digital Technologies to Boost Development of SME Businesses

Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development has held an online roundtable discussion on the support and development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the five-member BRICS trade alliance. The video conference was attended by government officials and representatives of public and business structures, Russia Today reported.

They exchanged experiences and best practices on using digital technologies for the development and support of SMEs. The participants also reviewed the main steps to ensure successful digitalization of this segment of the economy, as well as state regulation tools.

“The interaction of the BRICS countries on the support and development of SMEs is an excellent opportunity to achieve the growing potential of the economies of BRICS countries,” said the ministry’s Deputy Director of the Investment Policy and Entrepreneurship Development Department Kirill Sergashov.

“Undoubtedly, digital technologies improve the business landscape and are a source of new jobs, increased innovation efforts, stronger international relations and support for the export potential of SMEs. Our countries can clearly see the fundamental importance of the transition of SMEs to the digital economy,” he added.

Russia proposed to analyze the level of digitalization of the government structures of BRICS countries. Such information could serve as a basis for further steps to create a “one-stop” digital platform for SMEs. The platform could greatly simplify the paperwork when interacting with tax and administrative services, and would also boost business activities.

BRIC was established in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India and China, before South Africa joined the bloc in 2010, adding the “S” to the acronym.