Government committed in developing secure ecosystem for e-commerce in Myanmar which will be a key driver of growth for the country post-pandemic1 Jun 2020
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the traditional workings of the Myanmar economy, e-commerce is expected to be a key driver of growth for the country post-pandemic, said U Aung Htoo, deputy minister of Commerce, during a virtual conference held on May 28.
The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) will release an overview of a plan to develop e-commerce in Myanmar soon, he added.
"It's a good time now to pave the way for e-commerce to develop and contribute to the growth of the Myanmar economy," U Aung Htoo said. "Mobile phone penetration is over 100 percent now so it is a good time to leverage on this for the further development of e-commerce."
This comes after the April 27 Government announcement on COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) which outlines immediate and short-term actions to be implemented before year-end. The plan includes five specific actions for technology and e-commerce with the aim of promoting innovative products and platforms, including the uptake of digital payments, encouraging retail trade to operate online and promoting delivery and logistics firms.
The Conference served as the first ever online Public – Private Dialogue on e-Commerce and highlighted the current challenges faced by the public sector in achieving the indicators under CERP.
"Moving trade online will help to streamline communications between traders and their customers and also encourage customer interaction both locally and internationally. These activities can help drive growth and demand," U Aung Htoo said.
He added that as most e-commerce is currently done informally, the MOC's aim will be to create a secure and regulated system for trading on the internet in Myanmar.
U Zaw Min Win, chair of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, added that with key industries like manufacturing, retail and wholesale, small and medium sized enterprises as well and finance and investment under pressure from COVID-19, "we have to use the internet and technology to make the changes needed for the economy to recover. We urge the plans under the CERP to be implemented quickly," he said.
U Minn Minn, Director General of Trade Department under the MOC, said the ministry is working on completing the guidelines for its plan to develop a formal e-commerce ecosystem. It also plans to collaborate with the private sector and seek development assistance from other countries and the World Trade Organisation to roll out the plan.