Immense trade opportunities through e-commerce | Daily News


Immense trade opportunities through e-commerce

Education, legal analyses and strategic development of trade positions are needed to leverage on the potential benefits of Sri Lanka’s new trade agreements with Singapore and other countries.

“Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka and Singapore has a full chapter on e-commerce and the implications of this chapter are still under consideration.

Trade opportunities are particularly relevant given the recent initiatives at the World Trade Organization that emphasises e-commerce and the growing regional focus that could create opportunities for Sri Lankan companies seeking cross border trade,” Harshini Halangode, Programme Manager- Delegation of European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives told the Third National Public -Private Dialogue on e-commerce Reforms in Sri Lanka , organized by the Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology and the International Trade Centre.

She said further that the global growth of e-commerce has rapidly transformed economic activities around the world and e-commerce plays an increasingly important role in the region. In Sri Lanka, internet penetration is growing and as per the official figures in 2018, 33 % of the population has access to the internet.

“The mobile usage is also high. The mobile connection is 27.38 million. But internet users amounts to only 6.71 million. Statistics therefore show that the potential for e-commerce is high, but it is coupled with the under usage in the country,” Halangode said.

She also highlighted the need to integrate SMEs into the trading arena especially into export markets. SMEs account for about 70-72 Sri Lanka’s business sector and ICT is an important tool that can be used by SMEs to further integrate them into regional markets, she noted.

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