Through good collaboration with SECP, FBR, and SBP, the Ministry of Commerce plans to develop an e-commerce business facilitation hub by ensuring facilitation for freelancers, e-commerce projects, and startups.
On October 1, 2019, Pakistan announced its first-ever E-commerce Policy, drafted by the Ministry of Commerce. Through digital connectivity, the policy intends to create a launching pad for Pakistan’s e-commerce sector and exports, as well as a driver of youth empowerment and job creation, export development, and increased investment/FDI in Pakistan.
The Pak e-SME initiative will be launched with the goal of identifying, training, enabling, and connecting 50,000 e-SMEs in Pakistan’s remote areas to online marketplaces in order to promote e-commerce.
In addition, a Public-Private Partnership will be formed to create an E-commerce Aggregator to expose Pakistan’s e-commerce enterprises to the rest of the globe. Pakistan was also included to Amazon’s sellers list on May 21, 2021, making it one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms.
The emergence of e-commerce platform has paved the way for inclusive trade and economic development. Global e-Commerce has been growing exponentially since the last two decades and recorded sales growth of 13% in 2017 with estimated sales of $29 trillion. In addition, the number of online shoppers grew by 12% and reached 1.3 billion.
E-commerce can help developing country entrepreneurs to overcome the usual trade channels and reach a global market since internet-based enterprises can be operated at very small scale. Studies show that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), that use e-commerce platforms, are around five times more likely to export than those in the traditional economy.
Moreover, it has been estimated that the costs associated with geographic distance drop, by as much as two-thirds, for exporters who use digital trading platforms. This implies potentially substantial gains for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as female-headed enterprises, which are now able to ‘go global’ much more easily than was possible in the past.
E-commerce in Pakistan is at a nascent stage with modest internet retail sales. However, it is an emerging sector with a noticeable surge in recent past in online vendors, local e-commerce platforms and online payment facilities introduced by banks and facilitated/enabled by cellular companies through their nationwide networks. e-commerce businesses such as daraz.pk, pakwheels.com and others are already achieving significant business in Pakistan indicating a positive trend for a growing e-commerce sector of Pakistan. Pakistan is also a leader in mobile banking transactions in South Asia.
To read our blog on Pakistan’s first E-Commerce University will be established by the government, click here.