After Amazon, Facebook has now created opportunities for Pakistanis running online businesses to flourish with its initiative. “I am happy to see that after Amazon, Facebook has recently launched Marketplace for Pakistan,” Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood wrote on Twitter the other day.
“It will encourage small entrepreneurs to sell online; such opportunities during Covid-19 could be a lifeline for micro enterprises,” he added. Faisal Sheikh, Jack of Digital CEO, told the media that the Facebook Marketplace has opened new avenues for small businesses seeking online opportunities.
“These kinds of opportunities give a huge access to small businesses not only in Pakistan but internationally too,” said Faisal, whose company is an advertising reseller of TikTok, Eskimi DSP and Spider AF in Pakistan. Through these types of marketplaces, local customers can also access products sold in other countries easily, he added.
Besides access, they also give business owners easy payment solutions through local third parties. For example, initially Amazon, Facebook, and other such platforms accept US dollars. But with the introduction of the marketplace in Pakistan, people can now pay in Pakistani Rupees as well.
“Another benefit of these online platforms is that the government can collect taxes such as GST from online sellers,” Faisal added. Currently, the government was not able to collect taxes from online platforms that do not have local offices or a partner in Pakistan.
“By opening online marketplaces, these platforms open an office in the country where small business owners can talk to the help centre in their native language i.e. Urdu in Pakistan,” Faisal noted.
“This in turn enhances the efficiency of the digital platform and the business owner.”
Since the help centres are aware of the local issues of the country, they can provide better solutions accordingly.
The Marketplace will also allow women to contribute to the economy without doing any extensive physical work.
Razak Dawood, Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment, said that initiative was beneficial to female entrepreneurs who wished to participate in buying and selling among their friends, family, and networks as a first step toward e-commerce.