State Bank to Finally Draft an E-Commerce Policy

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Ministry of Commerce are developing a national policy to further promote e-commerce in Pakistan, and ensure a more favorable climate for investors in the sector.

While speaking at the 10th Jazzcash International Mobile Conference, SBP Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra stated that the new policy shall ‘support and work towards building desired ecosystem for e-commerce market and also to encourage local trade and foreign investments in the country.’

Online security is a major issue facing the e-commerce industry in Pakistan, as many potential consumers consider online payments as risky. Addressing the need to curb online fraudulent activities, the governor said, ‘A new mechanism for proactive fraud detection is being developed to safeguard merchants, consumers and their banks.’ He also advised the banks to rationalize the cost of e-commerce transactions.

The governor revealed that the number of m-wallet accounts in Pakistan has exceeded 16 million. Most of these accounts, however, remain inactive.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr Syed Ismail Shah emphasized through a video message that players in the e-commerce sector needed to collectively work towards strengthening the digital market. PTA would facilitate more services like Uber and Careem in the country, he added.

E-commerce in Pakistan

Devin Wenig, Chief Executive Officer of eBay, recently described Pakistan as among the ‘fastest growing [e-commerce] markets we have around the world.’ One of the most renowned names in online commerce, the Alibaba Group, has also expressed interest in investing in Pakistan.

The industry is poised to continue its growth in coming years with the ever increasing digital inclusion. According to Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, the e-commerce industry in Pakistan is expected to reach $1 billion by 2020.

Source: Dawn 

  • Only local trading will work in Pakistan. For international trades, I don’t think people will buy the items due to the Customs department charges in Pakistan.

    Recently, I tried to buy an item (Camera) from Hong Kong (worth $450USD in Hong Kong) and this item’s worth was 60,000 PKR in Pak, so I thought this is a very good deal why should I miss this? But guess what, after consulting with customs department in Karachi I have been advised that there is a fee to import this item in Pak about 36,000 PKR. So I ended the deal.

      • They have local version of these sites for local markets.. ..So there will be no custom duty and blan blan.

    • I think you are not aware of local versions. For example everything available at amazon US is not available at amazon UK. In India they are selling mostly local items and books which are produced for the region. They just dont sell everything from US in regional stores

      • Yes I am well aware about that. Which is why I’ve said: Only local trading will work in Pakistan.

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