Jam Kamal Khan Chairs 9th National eCommerce Council Meeting, Directs to Formulate Revised New Policy

Islamabad, May 28, 2024 :

The Federal Minister for Commerce, Jam Kamal Khan, presided over the 9th National eCommerce Council (NeCC) meeting on Tuesday, underscoring the importance of digital trade and eCommerce for Pakistan’s economic future.

The meeting, held in ministry of Commerce, brought together key public and private sector stakeholders to discuss the growth and challenges of eCommerce in the country.

The Minister Jam Kamal Khan expressed his appreciation for the council’s efforts in promoting the eCommerce sector.

He emphasized the need for a new cross-sectoral policy, proposing the formulation of a five-year roadmap and action plans to be presented to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister before the budget session.

To achieve this, he directed the formation of two to three working groups with clear Terms of Reference (TORs), including a group focused on payments system.

Secretary Commerce Muhammad Sualeh Ahmed Farooqui introduced the upcoming Export Readiness Program (ERP), aimed at training and counseling small businesses to expand their export markets.

The Minister endorsed this initiative, recognizing its potential to enhance Pakistan’s export capabilities.

Earlier in the meeting Director General (Services) provided an overview, setting the stage for a series of presentations on various facets of the eCommerce landscape in Pakistan.

Highlighted opportunities and challenges for the growth of eCommerce and digital trade in Pakistan.

The focus was on leveraging technology to enhance market access and competitiveness.

The State Bank of Pakistan presented the current state of digital payment systems, emphasizing the need for a robust and secure payment infrastructure to support eCommerce growth.

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan showcased the Pakistan Trade Portal, aimed at capacity building for SMEs in eCommerce.

The portal currently registers 3,555 sellers, 1,342 buyers, and lists 8,345 products across 34 cities.

The Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) discussed the challenges faced by the IT sector and proposed strategies for its growth.

Chain Store Association: Addressed the dynamics of B2C retail eCommerce in Pakistan, providing insights into consumer behavior and market trends.

Presented the first-ever bank-backed eCommerce platform, AlfaMall, highlighting its potential to revolutionize online retail in Pakistan.

The meeting also reviewed significant achievements since the approval of the National eCommerce Policy in October 2019, such as:

  • Creation of a specific category for eCommerce business registration by SECP.

  • Enhancement of freelancers’ monthly earning limits from USD 5,000 to USD 25,000.

  • Introduction of a B2B2C framework for international online marketplaces.

  • The SRO(14) scheme facilitating small packet eCommerce exports, resulting in USD 66 million in exports.

  • Launch of the Pakistan Trade Portal, registering over 3,000 businesses.

  • Inclusion of Pakistan in Amazon’s sellers list, generating USD 48.5 million in eCommerce exports.

    Looking ahead, the council aims to develop AI tools for online businesses, open new international market access, revisit the policy action matrix, and formalize social commerce.

    In closing remarks, Minister Jam Kamal Khan praised the TDAP for the impressive registration on the Pakistan Trade Portal in last three to four months and recommended linking it with other portals to further facilitate clients.