[Source: Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport]
While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about adversities, many economies have also underscored the opportunities that arose from the accelerated use of ICT, e-commerce, and digitalization of processes.
Trade and Commerce Minister, Faiyaz Koya says the micro, small and medium enterprises have been hit the hardest during this pandemic.
However, embracing e-commerce at the onset of the pandemic helped some MSMEs pull through the crisis.
Speaking at the virtual “Pacific Regional Workshop on E-Commerce”, Koya highlighted that a number of initiatives have been announced in the 2021-22 National Budget to create a conducive environment for e-commerce to grow.
However, he says the absence of a regional e-commerce strategy is a missed opportunity, as without clear policy and regulatory frameworks the potential for e-commerce will remain untapped in the region.
He adds the regional e-commerce initiative that was conceptualized in 2018, could not have been realized at a better time than now.
“Digital connectivity and the digital economy have a huge potential and have played an important role in offsetting productivity losses we currently face. There is a greater need for the Pacific to foster digital infrastructure development and support digital economic integration in the Region, as we attempt to restore the Pacific economy.”
Koya adds despite the uncertainties of the “new normal”, one thing is certain and that is that e-commerce is here to stay.