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Senior Advisor of the International Trade Center of the lead UN Agency for Development of Trade and Commerce (UNCTAD) Mr. James Howe Leslie called on Minister of IT, Anusha Rahman to discuss many issues of mutual interest including E-commerce platforms and other value chain component as well as E-Solutions. The discussion was with specific reference to enabling Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to have viable online businesses.

The Minister apprised Mr. James that Pakistan has taken many concrete steps to create an enabling environment for E-commerce and online businesses. She said that Pakistan is spearheading e-Commerce related initiative in WTO and our mission is to bring together like-minded countries to take forward this E-commerce agenda.

She also highlighted the infrastructure in Pakistan that had been put in place in IT & Telecom sector and informed the delegate that we have created a holistic digital ecosystem So that online businesses could flourish.

We have already connected more than 40 million people through mobile broadband in the last two years. Anusha Rehman further said that we have a friendly Investment policies is particularly focusing on the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship.

In this regard, the government has established National Incubation Center with a public-private partnership. It will soon establish three more centers in three major cities of Pakistan. Ms. Rahman revealed that the ministry is also bringing a program through the USF to facilitate SMEs and MSMEs to bring them online.

She underscored the importance of training for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to go online to market their products and fully benefit from the potential of E-Commerce.

She also shared the details of recent MOU with Alibaba who agreed to impart training to Pakistani SMEs to come online, in addition to their future investment strategy in Pakistan.

She further invited Mr. James and ITC to collaborate with the USF and to help them with appropriate design and the actual implementation of the SME related e-commerce initiative.

Mr. James appreciated the developments in E-commerce arena in Pakistan. He also assured continued support and collaboration from ITC to the various stakeholders of MoIT to enable sound outcomes for the Government.

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