KARACHI: One of the biggest international platforms for business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce, Alibaba.com, has up to 85% of Pakistani sellers based out of Sialkot.
Alibaba.com spoke on Thursday at a sellers’ summit held by the global B2B platform. According to Muhammad Sadiq, the manager of Pakistan’s business growth, there have already been 3.2 million listings from Pakistani sellers. With a 63 percent market share, the apparel and clothing category has the highest concentration of Pakistani sellers, followed by the sports, entertainment, health, and medical, as well as the tools, hardware, and minerals categories.
Multiple opportunities were highlighted by speakers from Alibaba.com for exporters, manufacturers, wholesalers, traders, and retailers in Karachi to connect with the global platform’s digital B2B buyer base. There were over 700 registrations for the summit.
Alibaba.com offers micro and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) a full range of digital, one-stop, integrated B2B services for international trade, according to the company’s Country Head Song Song, who spoke via Zoom. Up to 70% of MSMEs worldwide have experienced a decline in sales, and two-thirds have reported that the global pandemic has caused a 40% decrease in sales, he said, highlighting the necessity for local businesses to expand internationally.
According to him, the B2B e-commerce market in Pakistan is predicted to grow by 28 percent annually over the next three years. Economic difficulties have been brought on by the Russian-Ukrainian war, the recession-driven by inflation, and the oil shortage. The best way to combat the rupee’s decline against the dollar, he said, is to increase exports. This will help the country’s economy get back on track.
In terms of paying suppliers, Pakistan has surpassed all other foreign markets as our top supplier market, he said, urging local companies to expand outside of their home markets and “get discovered by more than 40m-strong global online buyer community on Alibaba.com.” Only 3.3 percent of all Pakistani exporters on Alibaba.com are located in Karachi, he bemoaned. These dynamics ought to alter. I encourage all Karachi exporters to use the export e-commerce route, he said.