ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is set to invite global online payment giants PayPal and Alibaba to offer their services in the country, the IT ministry has said, after easing its e-commerce rules.
The move follows a decision by the global Financial Action Task Force to remove Pakistan from its list of high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions linked to money laundering.
Neither US-based PayPal nor Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (which operates a service called Alipay) currently work inside Pakistan, which had strict regulation until recently limiting online payments for services.
Local vendors instead offer cash-on-delivery options.
Pakistan’s junior minister for information technology Anusha Rahman said in a statement that following the central bank’s decision to announce new rules for e-commerce, the government would “solicit mechanism to coordinate with international e-commerce players such as PayPal, AliBaba etc encouraging them to establish their setup to enable e-commerce services in Pakistan.”
Pakistan has a growing IT industry that mainly provides outsourcing services in the form of coding to major Western clients.
IT exports, which account for around 10% of total service exports, are currently worth US$2.2bil (RM9.27bil) annually, with the government aiming to increase the figure to more than US$5bil (RM21.07bil) by 2017.
The country of about 200 million people launched high-speed mobile Internet services last year, with the subscriber base now totalling around 18 million. There are also around 21 million broadband Internet subscribers, according to official figures. — AFP
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