Need for comprehensive national e-commerce policy to unleash opportunities in the segment: Commerce Secretary

e-commerce shopping is a thriving market, with people increasingly choosing this option to order products and services at their convenience.

Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia on 14 March called for a comprehensive national e-commerce policy to tap the huge opportunities in this segment.

e-commerce image. Pixaby

e-commerce image. Pixaby

According to the Minister, the country was not entirely ready to tap the opportunities offered by e-commerce and there was a crying need to ensure that various arms of the government like the Department of IT, Finance and Department of Posts were on the same page to capitalise on the business prospects offered by the digital space.

Teaotia said while the B2C (business-to-consumer) commerce transactions in India were growing rapidly at a compounded annual growth rate of 34 percent, there was a need for pegging aspirations realistically as the growth had taken place on a low base.

The Commerce Secretary spoke at a workshop on "Going global through E-commerce Marketplace for B2C Product Manufacturers, Exporters, Retailers and Online Sellers", organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and Amazon India.

Sanjay Bhatia, President, Ficci-Confederation of MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) said e-commerce shopping is a thriving market, with people increasingly choosing this option to order products and services at their convenience.

"Global e-commerce transactions in 2016 were $1.9 trillion accounting for 8.7 percent of the total retail spending worldwide," he said.

Bhatia added that the transactions are expected to grow to above $4 trillion by 2020 — making up to nearly 15 percent of the total retail spending — and Ficci-CMSME has partnered with Amazon India to create awareness about the potential.

A report by Amazon India — which was launched at the same event — said Indian exporters on the e-commerce platform saw a massive 224 percent growth in their global exports business in 2017.

"Amazon's international marketplace saw a staggering rise of 5000 percent in Indian products offered globally and 310 percent growth in Indian exporters using Amazon Global Fulfilment channel," said the first edition of Amazon Exports Digest 2017.

According to the report, with exporters from 2,047 pin-codes across India, Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh emerged as the leading states with most international exporters on Amazon.

"Since its launch in 2015 in India, Amazon's Global Selling Program has opened e-commerce markets to Indian businesses allowing them to go global and showcase their ‘Made in India' creations to the world, supporting government's vision of establishing India as a global manufacturing hub," said Gopal Pillai, GM and Director, Seller Services, Amazon India.

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