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Dhaka Tribune

Towards a booming e-commerce sector

Policymakers must ensure that appropriate guidelines are created to help the sector continue its momentum

Update : 28 Feb 2022, 10:51 AM

A recent report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicts, encouragingly but unsurprisingly, that Bangladesh’s e-commerce sector will triple in size by 2023. While the growth has long been expected, it should not be taken for granted. The report projects that the local e-commerce sector is expected to be worth Tk26,000 crore ($3 billion) next year, a three-fold growth from its current $1 billion market size. 

The immense potential of the e-commerce sector was always known in theory, but a lack of smartphone penetration and market education, among other factors, had prevented the sector from growing. The effect of the pandemic compelled the market to forge many connections that would probably have taken much longer.

Consequently, the e-commerce sector was able to bypass many steps, with the pandemic working as a catalyst for market education, and forced consumers to trust the sector out of necessity. It is undoubtedly a matter of great hope that the sector created 200,000 new jobs during the pandemic, proving that e-commerce deserves all the policy support it needs.

Policymakers must ensure that appropriate guidelines are created to help the sector continue its momentum. Particularly, helping mobile financial services (MFS) with policy support is essential. The ADB report found that businesses that have increased their use of information technology, especially MFS, are on track to recovery from pandemic impact.  

The success of MFS can be much greater if inter-operability is allowed, which will also help create a more sustainable market environment and provide support for a reliable ecosystem. The path to a substantial and booming e-commerce sector is clear. The authorities need to ensure that the opportunity is seized so that the country can have a highly developed e-commerce sector soon.

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