ISLAMABAD: The e-commerce sector in Pakistan has been doubling every year and is projected to surpass one billion dollars in 2020, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said while receiving a delegation of the Alibaba Group led by Mr. Max Bittner on Friday.
The finance minister appreciated the group’s interest to invest in e-commerce sector of Pakistan, and also urged them to invest in Pakistan’s digital trade industry which was a growing business and has great potential for growth.
He appreciated that Alibaba Group led by Jack Ma has established itself as one of the leading e-commerce companies of the world. He said there was growing emphasis on increasing role of e-commerce in global trade as an effective means to promote small business exports, entrepreneurship and exports diversification.
He referred to the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Mr. Jack Ma on the sidelines of World Economic Forum at Davos in January, where Mr. Ma expressed his intention to establish an e-commerce platform in Pakistan and support small scale industries.
Briefing the delegation, he said that Pakistan had adequate ICT infrastructure to facilitate the 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. With more than eleven percent citizens using mobile phones for financial transactions, Pakistan is the regional leader in mobile banking transactions in South Asia,” the minister remarked.
He noted that expanding e-commerce could facilitate the present government’s aim of inclusive economic growth, promote socio-economic development and provide livelihood for the marginalised segments of society including women.
The visiting delegation members expressed satisfaction over the headway being made in digitisation in Pakistan and recognised efforts for development of e-commerce sector.
The delegation was impressed by the progress made by Pakistan in the field of IT, telecom and broadband penetration. They said that the growing e-commerce market in Pakistan presents great opportunities for entrepreneurs and companies.
Alibaba is China’s leading group in online commerce and one of the largest companies in the world with operations in over 190 countries. Max Bittner is the CEO of Lazada who built an e-commerce ecosystem in Southeast Asia, and was bought by Alibaba last year.