ISLAMABAD: Amazon formally added Pakistan to its sellers list on Friday.

“We are excited to announce that as of today, Pakistani entrepreneurs are eligible to sell on Amazon. We are eager to work with Pakistan’s dynamic business community, including small and medium-sized sellers, and help connect them with customers around the globe,” a message from Amazon International Seller Services Vice President Eric Broussard said. The message was released to the media and on social media by the Ministry of Commerce.

On May 6, the commerce ministry had unofficially announced that Amazon has agreed in principle to add Pakistan to its sellers’ list after completing formalities. In South Asia, Pakistan is the last country to be placed on the sellers list of the e-commerce giant. The platform offers retailers the opportunity to sell their products directly to buyers and mass production opportunities.

A commerce ministry announcement said that Pakistan’s addition to the list marks the accomplishment of a milestone of the National e-Commerce Policy, and is the outcome of sustained engagement with Amazon since the last quarter of 2019 by the Ministry of Commerce, Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington, and the Consulate General in Los Angeles and the Pakistani diaspora on the West Coast of the US and continuous dialogue with the business community and public sector stakeholders, through the National e-Commerce Council (NECC).

Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood said that the Ministry of Commerce would continue discussions in the Focus Group for Amazon which would include representatives from sellers, logistic companies, various ministries and SBP to further guide Pakistan’s business community on how to make best use of this opportunity.

Mr Dawood said, “In order to reap full benefits, a lot of hard work has to be done in training, quality assurance, improvement in logistics, payment systems, customer relationship management, etc.”

Some of the Pakistani companies are already selling on Amazon from their overseas offices, but the country’s inclusion in the sellers list will increase opportunities for small and medium enterprises. The move will help promote more businesses and online buyers will get reach to Pakistani brands as they will be able to access all major markets through Amazon.

In the wake of this decision, Amazon will open seller’s registration of Pakistani companies very soon. Amazon makes about $300-400 billion sales every year. China and India are major users of the platform for selling goods from the region.

The major difference after being added to the sellers list would be that Pakistani companies would be able to create IDs using their Pakistani details, including Pakistani banks. Moreover, SMEs, youth and women entrepreneurs will have great opportunities to connect with the global market.

The private sector logistics companies will have an opportunity to scale up businesses and develop international partnerships. Pakistan Post is also working on automation and preparing itself for parcel deliveries.

This is also a business opportunity for marketing service providers to develop Pakistani brands, content and quality pictures for Pakistani sellers. The Intellectual Property Organisation has also been taken onboard to speed up the brand registration process

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2021

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