Better regional infrastructure, rules, mooted at Sri Lanka e-commerce meeting

ECONOMYNEXT – South Asian countries need to improve their legal, financial, logistical and telecommunication infrastructure to increase electronic commerce in the region which is small but has much growth potential, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.

“Despite low trade within the region, there are great potentials  for using information and communication technologies to contribute to social and economic progress across South Asian countries,” he said.

By international standards, the e-commerce sector is in its early stage in South Asia but growing at a fast pace, he told a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Colombo.

Electronic commerce provides a profitable and untapped market for businesses and investors within and across South Asia, Bathiudeen said.
“The need of the hour is for countries in the region to embrace e-commerce fully as it will enhance their economic and social development,” he said.

“Inadequate infrastructure acts as a major obstacle for e-commerce in this region. The governments need to invest in legal, financial, logistical and telecommunication infrastructure which is the backbone of any e-commerce initiative.”

Bathiudeen said that despite the challenges, e-commerce and related sectors in the South Asian countries offer huge business and investment opportunities.

Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI, said the Colombo meeting looked at existing strategies, user experience, and metrics in current e-commerce business models in the South Asian region and beyond.

The meeting evaluated the current policy frameworks on e-commerce and considered devising an e-commerce policy guideline, roadmap and initiatives for SAARC CCI, he said.
(COLOMBO, 15 Octber, 2018)

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