ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has hailed the approval of first-ever e-commerce policy framework by the federal cabinet and termed it a highly positive development as it would promote e-businesses, create plenty of jobs for youth and facilitate the growth of business activities and exports.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said that e-commerce sales were a growing business in the world as according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), global e-commerce sales grew 13% in 2017, reaching an estimated $29 trillion. He said that share of e-commerce sales in China’s GDP was 16 percent and India’s 15%, but Pakistan was way behind in realizing the actual potential e-commerce sales.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed hoped that the approval of first-ever e-commerce policy would go a long way in promoting e-commerce sector in Pakistan and facilitate the growth of e-trade and exports. He said that e-commerce policy framework has envisaged the setting up of a National E-Commerce Council comprising representatives of public and private sectors and emphasized that the sitting President ICCI should also be included in that Council to represent the voice of SMEs and safeguard their business interests. Tahir Abbasi, Senior Vice President, and Saif ur Rahman Khan, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that government should ensure proper implementation of e-commerce policy to realize its objectives. They said that e-commerce has great potential to grow in Pakistan and urged that government should take strong measures to create an enabling environment for e-commerce sector.

They said that to facilitate the growth of e-commerce, it was essential that government should approach PayPal and other payment gateways to ensure availability of several international payment gateways in Pakistan. They stressed that government should address other major issues of e-commerce sector including a weak regulatory mechanism for consumer protection, data and information privacy, insurance liability and dispute resolution for e-commerce transactions.

They said that proper implementation of e-commerce policy will empower the women entrepreneurs and encourage micro, small and medium enterprises to play more effective role in the economic development and prosperity of Pakistan.