PM Sharif, Alibaba president discuss e-commerce giant’s prospects in Pakistan

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday met Michael Evans, president of China’s Alibaba Group, to discuss opportunities for the introduction of the global e-commerce giant to Pakistan.

Evans said he was confident Alibaba would fuel a “significant stimulus for growth of small and medium enterprises in Pakistan”, adding that advancements in the field of information technology and telecommunication in the country provide a solid “base for expansion of e-commerce here”.

The prime minister spoke of Pakistan’s “economic stability over the last three years”, saying it was now among the fastest-growing economies in the region. He also said the security situation in the country had improved significantly.

There has been an unprecedented development in infrastructure along with a revolutionary expansion in IT and telecommunications, he was reported as saying.

The prime minister also recalled his meeting with the founder and chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, in Davos earlier this year, saying he had had “fruitful discussions” with him regarding China’s interest in investing in Pakistan’s e-commerce sector.

In his meeting with Nawaz, the Alibaba founder had said that China is “ready to invest for establishing an e-commerce platform in Pakistan,” sand that his company was closely monitoring progress of the country’s e-commerce sector.

Alibaba is China’s dominant player in online commerce, with its Taobao platform estimated to hold more than 90 per cent of the consumer-to-consumer market, and its Tmall platform is believed to account for over half of business-to-consumer transactions.

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