After Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, during World Economic Forum in January this year, company executives now visited Islamabad.
The e-commerce giant Alibaba delegation has been apparently impressed with Pakistan’s progress in the field of IT and Telecom. According to them, Pakistan’s e-commerce market is growing remarkably and has numerous opportunities for the masses.
During their official visit to Pakistan, the officials met Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance alongside holding other meetings.
Ishaq Dar while explaining Pakistan’s prospective ability told Alibaba delegation
“Over 11% Pakistanis use mobile phones for financial transaction. Pakistan is regional leader in the segment, hinting that uptake of digital services in Pakistan has been enormous”
The minister urged Alibaba group for ventures with Pakistani industry and to transform it to a full scale sector. To put an emphasis on it, he further added
“There is growing emphasis on increasing role of e-commerce in global trade as an effective means to promote small business exports, entrepreneurship and exports diversification. Pakistan had adequate ICT infrastructure to facilitate the 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 eleven percent citizens using mobile phones for financial transactions, Pakistan is the regional leader in mobile banking transactions in South Asia. Expanding e-commerce could facilitate the present government’s aim of inclusive economic growth, promote socio-economic development and provide livelihood for the marginalised segments of society including women”
Alibaba along with showing interests in entrepreneurs and small scale businesses, was also reported to be in talks with Daraz.pk for a possible acquisition. Alibaba plans to become the largest e-commerce player in Pakistan with the help of $150 million or around buyout of Daraz.
Acquisition of Daraz is going to prove a mile stone for Pakistan’s e-commerce industry. Daraz is currently ruling the country’s e-commerce platform. They have cut the margins to lowest possible levels and their strong advertisement campaigns are able to bag half a million hits per day.
Members of the delegation expressed a satisfactory attitude over the digitization in Pakistan and appreciated efforts for the development of e-commerce sector.