State Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, speaking as chief guest at the first session of the "Rural to Global E-Commerce Policy Conference 2021," said that Bangladesh's participation in F-Commerce, or Facebook Commerce, is increasing at a significant rate.
During the virtual policy conference held on 11 April, Palak said that at least 4 lakh new entrepreneurs are associated with F-Commerce and that Bangladesh Bank is going to arrange low-interest loans at 4% interest for them, alongside small businesses associated with start-ups.
Palak said the issue of deregulation and regulation of online infrastructure, needs to be seriously considered so that innovation opportunities can be created, read a press release.
To strengthen Bangladesh's position globally, solutions need to be found focusing on the 16 domino effect issues on global e-commerce platforms, he added.
The State Minister also praised the proactive role played by e-CAB during the pandemic and highlighted various initiatives taken by the government.
The policy conference, organised by the E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (eCAB), took place on 11 April.
Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Tajul Islam MP, inaugurated the first session of the policy conference at 11 am and Hafizur Rahman, senior secretary of the Ministry of Commerce presented the keynote.
Dr Zafar Uddin, senior secretary of the Ministry of Commerce was present at the event as a special guest. He said the Ministry of Commerce is working on implementing the Digital Commerce Policy for which a Digital Commerce Cell has also been formed.
"Digital Commerce Management Guideline 2021 is being finalised and the Ministry is considering the inclusion of social media commerce entrepreneurs," he added.
In his speech, Uddin also highlighted various initiatives taken by the Commerce Ministry since the beginning of the pandemic.
Obaidul Azam, chief executive officer of BFTI, said a registration process for social media-based entrepreneurs as an alternative to a trade licence, would boost consumer confidence and pave the way for cooperation with the larger entrepreneurial world.
He said F-commerce, as well as e-commerce, is playing a significant role in eliminating unemployment in the country.
Farah Md Naser, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, said that if an escrow facility of Bangladesh Bank is implemented, it will create a safety barrier for buyers making online payments and the complexities of cross-border e-commerce payments would also be resolved.
Sayed Mohammad Kamal, country manager of MasterCard, said the growth in online transactions over the past year needs to be sustained. This situation will improve further if certain benefits for card users in financial transactions are ensured, he added.
BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir said e-commerce should be brought under a fair rule.
"If there is a "bad apple" here, it should be removed and the action plan should be laid out by focusing on gaining the confidence of consumers," he added.
Sunday's discussion was presided over by E-Cab President Shomi Kaiser and other guests, including A2I Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury, Build CEO Ferdous Ara Begum, Dhaka University Associate Professor B M Mainul Hasan, and Dhamaka Shop's MD Jasimuddin Chishti, among others.
The second session of the policy conference is scheduled to be held on 11 April at 3 pm with Mustafa Jabbar, Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, as chief guest.