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Here’s How E-Commerce Can Become a Driver of Growth Across South Asia

Small and medium enterprises in the region reported that removing regulatory and logistical challenges to e-commerce would increase their exports

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South Asia
A survey of over 2,200 firms in South Asia showed that the top concerns on cross-border e-commerce sales included e-commerce related logistics, e-commerce and digital regulations, and connectivity and information technology infrastructure. Pixabay

E-commerce can become a driver of growth across South Asia and boost trade between the region’s countries, but its potential remains largely untapped, a new World Bank report said on Monday.

The report, titled “Unleashing E-Commerce for South Asian Integration” launched in the Capital, said that although e-commerce has grown significantly in South Asia, online sales accounted for a mere 1.6 and 0.7 per cent of total retail sales in India and Bangladesh — compared to 15 per cent in China and nearly 14 per cent globally.

“E-commerce can boost a range of economic indicators across South Asia, from entrepreneurship and job growth to higher GDP rates and overall productivity,” said Sanjay Kathuria, World Bank Lead Economist and co-author of the report.

“By unleashing its online trade potential, South Asia can better integrate into international value chains, increase its market access, and strengthen commercial linkages between countries across the region,” He added.

Increasing the use of e-commerce by consumers and firms in South Asia could potentially help increase competition and firm productivity, and encourage diversification of production and exports.

A survey of over 2,200 firms in South Asia showed that the top concerns on cross-border e-commerce sales included e-commerce related logistics, e-commerce and digital regulations, and connectivity and information technology infrastructure.

South Asia
E-commerce can become a driver of growth across South Asia and boost trade between the region’s countries, but its potential remains largely untapped, a new World Bank report said on Monday. Pixabay

“These barriers are significantly higher when trading with other South Asian countries. The main international e-partners of firms in South Asia are China, the UK, and the US and not other South Asian countries,” the findings showed.

Small and medium enterprises in the region reported that removing regulatory and logistical challenges to e-commerce would increase their exports, employment, and productivity by as much as 20-30 percent.

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“Some practical steps to strengthen online transactions include leveraging the reputation of large e-commerce platforms to offer consumer protection, return and redress, and data security as an initial substitute for robust contractual and consumer protection mechanisms, and permitting cross-border e-commerce payments,” said Arti Grover, World Bank Senior Economist and co-author of the report. (IANS)

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Amazon Severs Relationships with Several Delivery Contractors in US

Amazon ends ties with several delivery contractors in US

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Amazon is severing relationships with several small delivery contractors across the US apparently due to "safety" concerns. PIxabay

Hundreds of people in the US face job losses as Amazon is severing relationships with several small delivery contractors across the US apparently due to “safety” concerns, the media reported.

While Amazon delivery partner Bear Down Logistics was cutting 400 jobs, Seattle-based Delivery Force was laying off 272 workers, according to the reports.

According to a report in GeekWire, Amazon said these firms were found short of meeting the safety or performance requirements.

In a bid to help entrepreneurs start delivery businesses, Amazon launched an initiative called Delivery Service Partners in 2018. Although they operate independently, the DSPs receive support and training from the e-commerce giant.

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Amazon said these USfirms were found short of meeting the safety or performance requirements. Pixabay

“Prior to launching the DSP programme to empower entrepreneurs to build their businesses with Amazon, we contracted with a number of small logistics companies,” Amazon was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Some of these companies have not met our bar for safety, performance or working conditions, and we’re in the process of exiting them from the programme. We are planning for there to be zero or very little net job loss in these communities because nearly all impacted employees of these companies will have an opportunity to move into other delivery driver roles with Amazon partners,” the statement added.

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Amazon is now delivering 50 per cent of packages itself, according to recent Morgan Stanley estimates reported by CNBC.

Global courier company FedEx last year decided not to renew its air shipping contract with Amazon. (IANS)