Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has said that Pakistan will extend warm welcome to Alibaba Group, the leading commerce for investment in the country.
Ishaq Dar stated this while receiving a delegation of the Alibaba Group here on Friday. The delegation was led by Max Bittner. Welcoming the delegation, the Finance Minister stated that Alibaba Group led by its Chairman Jack Ma has established itself as one of the leading e-commerce companies of the world.
He said there was growing emphasis on increasing role of e-commerce in global trade as an effective means of promoting small business exports, entrepreneurship and exports diversification. Ishaq Dar said that in Pakistan e-Commerce was a growing business and has great potential for growth. This sector he said has been doubling in size every year and is projected to surpass US $ 1 billion in 2020.
He said that Pakistan had adequate ICT infrastructure in place for facilitating fast developing e-commerce sector and there was exponential growth in mobile broadband access to nearly 26 million people. Pakistan had already introduced 3G and 4G technologies.
With more than 11 percent citizens using mobile phones for financial transactions, Pakistan is the regional leader in mobile banking transactions in South Asia, the minister remarked.
He said that expanding e-commerce could further facilitate the present government’s aim of inclusive economic growth, promoting socio-economic development and providing livelihood for the marginalized segments of society including women.
The Minister welcomed and appreciated Alibaba Group’s interest in investing in Pakistan’s e-commerce sector. He also referred to the meeting between Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chairman Alibaba Group Jack Ma on the sidelines of World Economic Forum at Davos in January, 2017 where Ma expressed his intention to establish an e-commerce platform in Pakistan and support small scale industries. He also urged the Alibaba Group to invest in Pakistan’s digital trade industry.
Members of the visiting delegation said they were happy to see great headway being made in the realm of digitization in Pakistan and that they recognised the efforts for development of E-commerce.
They added that the delegation was impressed by the progress made by Pakistan in the field of IT, Telecom and Broadband penetration. They said that the growing e-Commerce market in Pakistan presented great opportunities for entrepreneurs and companies and the group would also like to benefit from them.