Development of mobile applications and production of mobile devices have provided opportunities for business to link with domestic as well as global customers.
According to a study by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the estimated worth of e-commerce business-to-business transactions exceeded $15 trillion in 2013. Similarly, business-to-consumer transactions were estimated at $1.2 trillion and are growing quickly, led by the Asia-Pacific region.
No Entry for Pakistan in Ebay, Amazon and Paypal
Pakistan, with a population of around 190 million, has also emerged as a platform for international companies that are exploring opportunities to extend their scope by investing in e-commerce projects.
The estimated worth of e-commerce market in Pakistan is $50 million and is expected to grow at a rapid speed after the introduction of 3G telecom technology. Currently there are 15 million 3G and 4G users in the country.
In the overseas e-commerce market, the United States has emerged as a leader where companies such as Amazon, Ebay and Paypal have developed platforms that enables businesses to reach the global market.
Amazon.com, a Seattle-based company established in 1995, it has established an online marketplace where more than three million sellers from 89 countries. But Amazon does not permit residents from Pakistan to sell in its marketplace. EBay is another global giant in e-commerce business with a market of $70 billion. It is also in the list of top 10 global retail brands. The entry of Pakistani sellers on EBay is also restricted. PayPal provides financial gateway for e-commerce transactions. PayPal, which was owned by EBay is available in 190 markets. It does not allow Pakistani residents to become its member.
Odesk and FreeLancer.com permit Pakistani residents to sell services through their platform. According to latest statistics, Pakistan has emerged as world’s fifth top freelance country where people are trying to get projects such as software development, code writing and computer graphics.
The OECD recommends developing countries such as Pakistan, which have immense potential to bind e-commerce but are limited by the entry barriers, to devise a national e-commerce strategy taking on board all the relevant stakeholders.