In a most awaiting development, Pakistan is finally ready to take a step towards global e-commerce with registration of its sellers with US giant Amazon. The Advisor to PM on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, shared the news in his second e-commerce virtual meeting. List of around 38 sellers of surgical goods, sports goods and home textile sector was sent to Amazon via e-commerce platform after making several amendments and up-gradations in e-commerce policy 2019.
The WTO Director General shared an appreciation video message to Pakistan for its steps towards formulating an effective e-commerce strategy. DG WTO also asserted that Pakistan is in the right direction towards creating a more inclusive global approach and such strategies will create more jobs, more opportunities both nationally and internationally.
The demand for Pakistani products specifically sports, surgical and textile is already known. Therefore, the first list of sellers selected for listing with Amazon were from these industries. By launching a government supported platform of e-commerce will create additional opportunities for Pakistanis and especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Highlights from Second National e-commerce Council Meeting
Abdul Razzaq Dawood held second virtual National e-commerce council meeting in Pakistan and shared recent steps taken by members of the council. The members of council include federal government representatives, State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP), National Information Technology Board (NITB), provincial revenue boards and consumer rights commission, telecom companies, Pakistan Post, Ministry of IT and Telecom, freelancers, Fintech sector representatives, logistics companies, banking sectors and online marketplace representatives.
The e-commerce policy of Pakistan launched under Digital Pakistan Policy 2019, has been successfully pursued and amended by participants of the council. As the pandemic grew, Pakistan’s reliance on e-commerce has increased manifolds as identified by Google Trends as well.
Steps taken by Council Members for global e-commerce in Pakistan
- SBP developed regulatory framework for B2C e-commerce for facilitation of cross-border transactions
- FBR near completion of its Web based one custom (WeBoC) module for e-commerce that will be integrated with B2C framework of SBP
- Revenue boards for KPK and Punjab have developed incentive programs for e-commerce and digital platforms in their budgets.
- Federal and Punjab Consumer Protection Councils have amended current consumer laws based on issues that can confront e-commerce consumers. In addition, new training programs are designed for consumer protection authorities to deal with e-commerce consumer rights issues.
- SECP has already launched a separate sectoral classification on its web portal for registration of companies doing e-commerce. Around 152 companies have already registered with SECP which will increase documentation as required by Digital Policy of Pakistan.