18 Apr 2018 – 12:09
DOHA: Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti announced yesterday that the Ministry has issued the Comprehensive Guidelines for E-Commerce, which is the first of its kind in the Arab region, and aims to further boost local e-commerce sector.
The e-commerce market in Qatar has recorded a robust growth and is estimated to be at $1.3bn, he added.
Addressing “E-Commerce Forum Qatar-2018”, organised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) at St Regis Hotel yesterday, the Minister said that MoTC is currently working on an innovative project aimed at boosting consumer confidence in the local e-commerce sector. This project is due to be launched by the end of this year. The Ministry is also working to create strategic partnerships with local and international entities to help local SMEs expand their markets and access the latest technology achievements.
“In Qatar, the e-commerce market has shown healthy growth consistent with global rates, with the e-commerce market now estimated at $1.3bn,” said the Minister adding that the use e-commerce among consumers has significantly increased from 14 percent in 2016 to 20 percent in 2017. “Now, more and more companies are seeking to provide e-commerce locally, especially in the service sector, and the pace is growing as private car transport, food delivery and local car services become easier and more efficient,” he added.
The Minister pointed out that local efforts in this field are echoed at the level of international classifications of Qatar in electronic commerce, which rose 15 ranks compared to 2015, according to the report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad 2017).
He added that the local starting companies are doing their part in developing innovative solutions to the individual needs of consumers in Qatar, stressing that the more the needs are met, the more e-commerce market in Qatar has flourished.
“Our ambitions for the e-commerce growth goes beyond the current situation relying on the vast horizons offered by our potential. The country has many elements to create an environment conducive to e-commerce, including a strong and secure telecommunications and IT infrastructure, high-income population with high levels of digital penetration, with smart phones use at more than 94 percent and internet use at 100 per cent,” said the Minister.
He pointed out that the local system should rise to the level of challenges, and provide that range and the kind of services required to push the spread of e-commerce, take advantage of the capabilities of the state and invest them to the maximum extent possible.
MoTC’s Assistant Undersecretary for Digital Community Development Affairs Reem Mohammed Al Mansouri said the e-commerce market in Qatar is a promising market, but it’s still facing some challenges. She pointed out that a recent study by the Ministry showed that local SMEs accounted for only 33 percent of the $1.3bn of e-commerce transactions in 2017 in Qatar, while 67percent of those transactions went to international traders.
She stressed that the Ministry is keen on building on this growth by empowering local merchants and then raising the domestic share of e-commerce to 70 percent by 2022, in order to raise the cumulative value of e-commerce transactions by local SMEs e-commerce companies to $6bn by 2022.