Pakistan’s economy holds a lot of promise and potential. The country’s e-commerce sector has really taken off in the last couple of years, the stock market has outperformed global competition, investors are increasingly interested and the entrance of the Chinese via CPEC promises future growth.
Given all this, it is easy to get carried away at times especially if you are in the federal government and are attempting to paint a rosy picture of things.
This was demonstrated recently by a newspaper report which quoted Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Planning, as saying that Pakistan is the 3rd top country in terms of e-commerce.
He stated this ‘fact’ when addressing a ceremony arranged by Higher Education Commission (HEC) to launch Smart and Safe University projects.
Here’s the data of the top most countries and their online sales as per the Global E-Commerce Index 2015:
Unless Pakistan’s e-commerce sector has made a quantum leap in terms of sales in the last 1 year alone (and let’s be honest, have we?), the Planning Minister’s statement flies counter to independently verified statistics.
Perhaps Mr. Ahsan Iqbal’s remarks were misquoted by certain sections of the media. However the statement is entirely plausible as well, given how he has previously announced that 5G technology was coming to Pakistan, and then had to issued a clarification regarding the same.
In any case, it is hoped that distinguished government officials like him are better informed and cognizant of the challenges that Pakistan’s economy faces before Jack Ma, the founder of AliBaba comes here.