ISLAMABAD            -          Iran has agreed with Pakistan to provide all possible facilitation for mango exports to the country and Central Asia.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood and Ambassador of Iran Syed Mohammad Ali Hosseini held a meeting on Thursday. Both the countries appreciated the opening of Taftan Border for seven days a week for bilateral trade.

Dawood said that Iranian Consulate Quetta has confirmed that they will attest documents for at least 30 shipments of mango exports daily. Iranian trucks will take Pakistan mangoes to Iran from the border, following SOPs for prevention of COVID-19 pandemic in place. Iran will provide all possible facilitation for mango exports to Iran and Central Asia and Ambassador will stay in direct contact with Ministry of Commerce.

In other development, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment chaired the 2nd meeting of National e-Commerce Council.

All of the nominated members of the Council, including State Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of IT & Telecom, Federal Board of Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, National Information Technology Board, Provincial Departments of Industries and Commerce, Provincial Revenue Authorities, Pakistan Post, Federal and Provincial Consumer Rights Commission/Councils, Telecom companies, online marketplaces, Fintech sector representatives, Freelancers, Banking sector and Logistics companies attended the meeting.

The Advisor briefed the participants about the progress achieved in the past months on the e-Commerce Policy, since its approval on 1st October, 2019. He appreciated the coordinated efforts of public and private sector for the effective implementation of the policy.

Talking to the participants, Razak Dawood underlined that the trend of e-commerce has increased rapidly in the recent years with the development and easy accessibility of the internet. He added that, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the importance of e-Commerce has increased manifolds, making it an extremely vital sector for the economy. He stressed the importance of directing the resources towards digital adoption and connecting the SMEs to e-platforms across the globe, while exploring new market access opportunities for them.

Sharing the progress update, State bank of Pakistan informed that the regulatory framework for facilitation of cross border B2C e-Commerce has been developed, which will be adopted after integration with the e-Commerce module to be developed by FBR in WeBoC (web based one customs).

Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authorities apprised the participants of the incentives being announced for Digital and e-Commerce sector in the provincial budgets to support these sectors during these challenging circumstances.

Representatives from Consumer Protection Councils of Punjab and Lahore and from Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan informed that, in line with the directions of the e-Commerce Policy, Federal and Provincial Consumer Acts are being amended to include the subject of e-Commerce and the disputes arising from this sector. They added that webinars are being planned to educate academia and train the judicial officers on the subject of consumer protection.