A national task force will be formed to assist in the expansion of the e-commerce sector, said Salman F Rahman, Adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Private Industry and Investment. He said a national task force needs to be formed to address the tax and logistics problems in the sector. He will take necessary steps in this regard after discussing with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her IT advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy.
Salman F Rahman, Vice Chairman of Beximco Group, one of the leading industrial groups in the country, said this while addressing a virtual roundtable meeting titled ‘Development of Digital Ecosystem: Role of E-Commerce’ jointly organized by Kaler Kantha and Daraj, one of the largest online marketplaces in the country. The virtual meeting was attended by Kaler Kantha Editor and East West Media Group Director Imdadul Haque Milon and other top executives of the sector. The roundtable discussion was moderated by Masood Rumi, Business Editor, Kaler Kantho.
Speaking as the chief guest, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Private Industry and Investment said, “Digitization is now available in all sectors of society. Business and all kinds of improvements will be accelerated through the e-commerce sector ahead. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has wanted to turn Bangladesh into a digitally prosperous country since 2009, which has now improved a lot. However, more needs to be done to make the civic services provided by the government online. This will increase transparency and accountability.
Imdadul Haque Milon, editor of Kaler Kantha and a novelist, said, “Over the last few years, we have noticed that e-commerce is slowly creeping into society. E-commerce is playing a bigger role in developed countries. In our country too, it is slowly going to a big level over the last few years. The way we move forward, we can take this sector to a much bigger place in a very short time. But the things we need to do behind it is foreign cooperation. We need to invite more foreign investors. ‘He said,’ We notice that the role of e-commerce is limited to urban life. We have to take steps to take it to the village or grassroots level. ‘
Kamal Qadir, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of bKash, said, “We are trying to work together to move e-commerce forward. A variety of small and medium businesses have become involved with e-commerce. When a multinational company works through technology, they find success there. Development is doing well in this case. Having to invest heavily in this case. The country’s mobile companies have improved a lot in terms of technology. They are now getting the benefits. Care has been taken to avoid any hindrance in bringing in foreign investment.
Syed Almas Kabir, president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), said, “Digital commerce has triumphed. This journey has been intensified during the lockdown. Eighty-five percent of the country’s population is under 35 years of age. Eighty-five percent of those who shop through digital systems are between the ages of 18 and 34. Earlier, online shopping was about 15 percent. That has risen to 30 percent in Corona. It needs to be held. A 5 per cent subsidy from the government is required for purchases on digital transactions. Two and a half percent of this subsidy will have to be paid to the buyer and two and a half percent to the seller. ‘
Solaiman Alam, Grameenphone’s Chief Digital and Strategy Officer, said, “A telecommunication system is a fundamental requirement for e-commerce. According to the latest BTRC data, there were about 11.26 crore internet subscribers in our industry. Of which 10.34 crore are mobile internet subscribers. The people of this country depend on the internet services provided by the mobile companies to run their online and various activities. We are doing a lot of work with the help of the government and our regulatory agencies. Our target was to make 100% of our operators under Forge on the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. That’s what we did. I think the speed of internet is higher now than in urban areas. ‘
E-Cab President Shami Kaiser said, “We have seen growth in the e-commerce sector mainly at this time in Corona. The growth of this sector started from 2014. However, before Corona, the growth was 20 to 25 percent. But during the Corona period, the growth has been 70 to 80 percent. One of the primary reasons for this growth was that the backbone of ICT was ready. The e-commerce policy was created, which was changed again in 2020. The biggest achievement that has been made is that we have been able to eliminate middlemen in various ways. If we look at last year’s digital market, if we talk about mango growers, through e-commerce, we have been able to reach 152,000 households with formalin-free mangoes directly in just three weeks. Rural e-commerce is a big place in e-commerce. We are already working with the Ministry of Commerce.
Rezwanul Haque Jami, Head of E-Commerce, ATUI, said, “Government agencies are trying to take the e-commerce sector further. An e-commerce policy was formulated in 2016 to give importance to this sector. This policy was implemented in 2019. Although it is now under the Ministry of Commerce. Every effort is being made to update the policy. Lately, TCB’s products are also being sold through e-commerce. However, if e-commerce services do not reach the rural level, improvement is not possible.