ISLAMABAD -  UNCTAD Senior Adviser James Howe Leslie on Friday called on IT Minister Anusha Rahman and discussed several issues of mutual interest including e-commerce platforms and other value chain components.

The minister said that Pakistan has taken many concrete steps to create an enabling environment for online businesses. She said, “Pakistan was spearheading e-commerce related initiative in WTO and our mission at WTO was bringing together like-minded countries to take forward the e-commerce related agenda.” The minister highlighted the infrastructure in Pakistan that had been put in place in IT and telecom sector.

“We have created a holistic digital ecosystem so that online businesses could flourish. We have already connected more than 40 million people through mobile broadband in the last two years,” she said. The minister said, “We have friendly investment policies particularly focusing on the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship. In this regard, we have established a National Incubation Centre with a public-private partnership and going to establish three more such centres in three major cities of Pakistan.”

She said, “We are also bringing a programme through the USF to facilitate SMEs and MSMEs to bring them online.” She underscored the importance of training for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to go online to market their products and fully benefit from the potential of e-commerce.

James appreciated the developments in the e-commerce arena in Pakistan and said that there was a unique opportunity in Pakistan in the area of e-commerce. He assured continued support and collaboration from ITC to the various stakeholders of MoIT to enable sound outcomes for the government.