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Dhaka Tribune

E-Commerce helping Bangladesh turn around pandemic-stricken economy: Experts

E-commerce has also played a role in balancing the participation of women in the ICT sector

Update : 25 Feb 2021, 12:20 AM

With the advent of new technologies, a fast-growing e-commerce industry is helping Bangladesh to recover from its economic fallout due to the Covid-19 pandemic, experts said at a webinar on Wednesday.

They were speaking at a virtual panel discussion styled "E-commerce Ecosystem for All”, with a focus on an inclusive ecosystem, organised by leading online marketplace Daraz.

Key areas of discussion included the growth of the e-commerce sector as a contribution to Bangladesh's economy, requirements to instigate further growth, creating a smooth operational process, ensuring compliance in terms of operations and delivery, protecting customer interest, its role to attract new foreign investment, ensure youth employment along with the development of proper skills, and ensuring industry transparency.

“We have progressed tremendously in the e-commerce sector. The rate is equivalent to the progress that was expected three years later. Our e-commerce sector has even played a pivotal role during the pandemic," said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi.

Owing to e-commerce businesses, it was possible to reach needy people with products of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh during the pandemic, he also said.

The government has ensured three things that are prerequisites for the expansion of e-commerce – access to high-speed internet, digital payment system and trust, said the ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak.

E-commerce has also played a role in balancing the participation of women in the ICT sector. Because of different e-commerce sites like Daraz entrepreneurs can now sell local products to the foreign buyers, he also said.

"We want an ecosystem-friendly policy that will help grow the sector. Three points should be covered in the policy – implementation of an easy process meant for convenience of the customers, issues related to cross-border e-commerce, as well as inclusion of those in import and export policies, and proper address of the challenges of online payment systems," said Syed Mostahidal Hoq, managing director of Daraz Bangladesh.

"If we can do so, e-commerce sites will have 5 crore customers and be able to create more employment by 2025," said the Daraz MD.

However, the discussants underscored the necessity of drafting an e-commerce policy to make sure that the sector grows in a systematic and harmonious way, and people involved in this industry get the chance to tap into the potential of this sector.

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