ISLAMABAD - Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and Alibaba are likely to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the online sale of the products made by the BISP beneficiaries.

The possibility for signing the MoU was discussed in a meeting of Minister for Commerce Muhmmad Pervaiz Malik and Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon with Alibaba team. The meeting was attended by Jason Jia, Pakistan-UAE Country Director Alibaba, Martin Wang, Executive Assistant to GM Alibaba, Dr Shahid Mahmud, CEO Interactive Group, and Shayan Mahmud, CEO Eikon Seven. 

The meeting discussed the opportunities that e-commerce offers in bridging poverty gap and the future cooperation for the welfare of BISP beneficiaries. The meeting discussed solutions that can help BISP beneficiaries in benefiting and reaching out to international markets through Alibaba.

Minister for Commerce Muhammad Pervaiz Malik said that the promotion of e-commerce would result in enhancing trade volume as it is platform to explore new markets and would help in products diversification. “This would help us in achieving higher market access for Pakistani products in foreign markets with the aim of increasing our share of export in the global trade.”

Chairperson BISP said that BISP caters to 5.4 million women across Pakistan. There is strong need to find a solution that can incorporate BISP beneficiaries into e-commerce, thus enabling them to benefit from the opportunities and outreach that e-commerce offers.

She said that it is high time to reap the advantages of MoU between Alibaba and Pakistan for the benefits of the vulnerable women. BISP plans to link its beneficiaries with online selling giant Alibaba so that they are able to earn for themselves while staying at home.

Alibaba team gave a detailed presentation on Alibaba and briefed on the specially designated Pakistan Pavilion on Alibaba Website as a result of MoU signed between Pakistan and Alibaba during the visit of previous Prime Minister of Pakistan to China.

During the meeting, it was discussed that industries and products with international demand that could be projected on Pakistan Pavilion may be identified. Chairperson BISP said that the identified industries under their CSR may hire BISP beneficiaries in their workforce, thus supporting them out of poverty.

Dr Shahid Mahmud, CEO Interactive Group, said that there is high demand for handmade products. Pakistan has a huge workforce that could be engaged in utilizing the platform of e-commerce so that poverty gaps could be bridged.

It was decided that shawls made by BISP beneficiaries would be placed on the website of DIBS that is an e-commerce company that deals in luxury items. The company would promote the sale of these shawls under its CSR. It was also discussed to sign an MoU between Alibaba, BISP and AHAAN for the online sale of BISP beneficiaries-made products.