Pakistan E-commerce to surpass US$1 billion

Pakistan E-commerce to surpass US$1 billion

ISLAMABAD: (APP) Finance Minister, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar said Friday that E-Commerce sector had been doubling in size every year and was projected to surpass US $ 1 billion in 2020.

Talking to the delegation of Alibaba Group here, the minister said e-commerce was a growing business in Pakistan and had great potential for growth, according to a press release issued here.

He said Alibaba Group led by its Chairman Jack Ma had established itself as one of the leading e-commerce companies of the world.

The minister said there was growing emphasis on increasing role of e-commerce in global trade as an effective mean of promoting small business exports, entrepreneurship and exports diversification.

The minister said Pakistan had adequate ICT infrastructure in place for facilitating fast developing e-commerce sector and there was exponential growth in mobile broadband access to nearly 26 million people.

Pakistan had already introduced 3G and 4G technologies and with more than 11% citizens using mobile phones for financial transactions, Pakistan was the regional leader in mobile banking transactions in South Asia, the minister remarked.

He said expanding e-commerce could further facilitate the present government's aim of inclusive economic growth, promoting socio-economic development and providing livelihood for the marginalized segments of society including women.

The minister welcomed and appreciated Alibaba Group's interest in investing in Pakistan's e-commerce sector.

He also referred to the meeting between Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chairman Alibaba Group Jack Ma on the sidelines of World Economic Forum at Davos in January, 2017 where Mr. Ma expressed his intention to establish an e-commerce platform in Pakistan and support small scale industries.

He also urged the Alibaba Group to invest in Pakistan's digital trade industry, the press statement added.

Alibaba, it may be added, was China's leading group in online commerce, with its Taobao platform estimated to hold more than 90 per cent of the consumer-to-consumer market, and its Tmall platform is believed to have over half of business-to-consumer transactions.

On the occasion, members of the visiting delegation said they were happy to see great headway being made in the realm of digitization in Pakistan and that they recognized the efforts for development of E-commerce.

They added that the delegation was impressed by the progress made by Pakistan in the field of IT, Telecom and Broad band penetration.

They said the growing e-Commerce market in Pakistan presented great opportunities for entrepreneurs and companies and the group would also like to benefit from them.