Special Assistant to Prime Minister on E-Commerce, Senator Aon Abbas Buppi said Thursday that the country’s e-commerce trade would be enhanced up to $9.1 billion by 2025.
In an exclusive talk with APP, he said, Pakistan was an emerging e-commerce market and had the potential to excel in the regional market and also emerge as a global player in the coming years.
He said, in the $30 trillion global e-commerce market, the country’s e-commerce market was only $4 billion in terms of revenue, which is far less than its regional competitors.
Aon Abbas Buppi said that by promoting e-commerce trade in Pakistan, “we can balance our trade deficit which will lead to improve country’s economic growth.”
He said that the market volume in e-commerce was bigger than the traditional trade adding that this was an opportunity for young population to utilize it and play an effective role in economic development.
“Recently we organized an e-commerce convention in which the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan participated and there was a very good response from different segments of society,” he remarked.
He said that with the personal interest of Prime Minister Imran Khan, various initiatives were being taken for the development of the e-commerce sector, focusing on tax and ease of doing business and freelance issues.
He said payments and banking, taxation, business registration, free lancers startups, market excess, logistics and shipping, market access, consumer protection and data protection were important areas that are being worked on.
The SAPM said that the government had introduced the country’s first zero-tax strategy for registered freelancers. At present Pakistan is the third largest digital market in the world and in this “we are competing with India.”
He said that issues related to companies and individual data in e-commerce trade was resolved by launching e-Tijarat portal for which Asian Development Bank was providing financial and technical assistance. In addition, research facility and other support were also being put in place to promote e-commerce.
The E-Tijarat portal would help boost trade and help overall economic development by promoting “Made in Pakistan” products in regional and global markets.
He expressed the hope that e-commerce would promote different sectors including mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI),Automated data collection systems.
He said, the growth of e-commerce has opened new avenues of economic growth to a country but the openness of the internet and data processing by local and international e-commerce companies has increased the risk of misuse of personal data of its citizens.
Therefore, many countries were introducing regulatory measures to curtail the risk of data breaches and its subsequent misuse.
Aoun Abbas Buppi said that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has introduced the first e-commerce policy in October 2019, which would create new avenues of employment opportunities for the youth of the country.
Aon Abbas said that E-Commerce policy provides communities with a guideline on how they can take advantage of this innovative opportunity.
He said the country currently has more than 50 percent youth population for whom there would be huge job opportunities in the e-commerce sector.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has given us a target to open 10 million new jobs through the e-commerce sector.
He said that 10,000 new companies have to be opened and 10,000 new people have to be trained to create more manpower in this sector.
The SAPM said that at present there are 5.5 million small and medium enterprises in the country which would be linked with this E-Commerce sector to attract more people in this digital business.
Similarly, under the Chinese shipment model, this policy will be worked on to create more space in the sector.
He said that “We are working with the Federal Board of Revenue for tax rationalization for E-commerce trade,” he said.
The SAPM said that Work is also underway on Ease of Doing Business in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will further facilitate this sector and create new business opportunities in the country.
Aon Abbas said that a new Equity Investment Policy has been approved and the e-commerce sector is being linked with Silicon Valley.
He urged the e-commerce leaders to come forward and train the country’s large youth population in this sector so that youth from remote areas like Balochistan,
Gilgit-Baltistan, Sindh and other provinces could come forward and become part of the country’s economic power and gain decent employment opportunities.
He said e-commerce leaders now had a responsibility to change the lives of 55 percent of the youth living in remote areas of the country.
These services would be a great provision to their country and these young people would become an asset to our population.
He said youth empowerment was the first priority of the government for which there was no better tool than e-commerce.