At an event in Karachi on Thursday, it was revealed that the majority of Pakistani sellers on the e-commerce platform Alibaba are situated in Sialkot and that 63% of all sellers in Pakistan offer items in the apparel category.
Experts urged manufacturers and merchants from various cities that specialize in sectors other than apparel to use Alibaba, one of the biggest global e-commerce platforms, to boost their sales and expand their access to international markets, at the “Go Export with Alibaba.com” event.
Song Song, Head of Alibaba.com Pakistan said. “Despite our modest progress in Pakistan, there is still a massive opportunity for suppliers of high-quality products to start their export journey.”
In 1999, Alibaba was established with e-commerce as its primary industry. In recent years, it has moved into quickly developing industries including cloud services and the internet of things. It also owns AutoNavi, a significant Chinese digital mapping, and navigation company.
The event emphasized the possibilities open to Karachi’s exporters, manufacturers, wholesalers, merchants, and retailers in order to increase the number of digital business-to-business clients.
The primary goals of the summit were to discuss the potential of online export business and to inform local manufacturers and entrepreneurs about the e-commerce export area.
“Through the platform, we encourage traders to grow beyond their domestic market and breach the digital space that holds a community of 40 million customers,” he added.
He advised SMEs in Pakistan that specialize in industries other than apparel to use the online market to increase their market access and export sales.
According to data from the World Trade Organization, the B2B e-commerce sector in Pakistan is expanding quickly, and its B2B segment is anticipated to have an annual growth of 28% during the following three years.
The weakening of the rupee, he said, has made exports viable for the nation.
“We have notable growth in Pakistani suppliers on our platform over the past few years, and Pakistan is also among our top overseas supplier markets.”
He expressed regret that Karachi accounted for just 3.3% of all exporters from Pakistan in the marketplace. He emphasized the need for a shift in these dynamics.
Song encouraged exporters located in Karachi to use the e-commerce export channel.
“It’s time we look for new ways to do commerce,” he said. “We have to diversify our business and update it at the same time. We promise to invest as many resources as we can to transform Karachi into the next digital trade hub of the world.”
“We look forward to drafting a holistic export policy that will not only promote export industry but also ensure collective good with our local as well as international stakeholders,” he said.
He claims that Pakistan has 5.2 million SMEs, which contribute 40% of the country’s GDP.
“There is a huge potential for e-commerce exports in Pakistan,” he said.