Qatar’s e-commerce market is growing at a rate of ten per cent, which is higher than the global average, Dr Hessa al-Jaber, Qatar’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, states.
During the opening of the Qatar e-Commerce Forum organised by the Ministry of Telecommunications, Dr Hessa says that the e-commerce market among individuals in Qatar was estimated at $1 billion and between businesses at $ 1.3bn in 2014, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reports.
The minister points to a number of challenges that hinder the development of a strong system for e-commerce in Qatar, including the legislative framework, which needs to be further clarified; implementation and awareness by concerned parties; and the limited electronic payment options.
She says there are efforts to overcome some of these challenges through the liberalisation of the postal services market and opening it for competition, as the government has developed a policy to liberalise postal delivery and make suitable amendments to the postal law. It is also handling online as well as off-line consumer protection issues.
The minister adds: “The Ministry is enforcing an e-transactions law by issuing a suitable set of policies and guidelines that will be developed by stakeholders coming together as joint working groups. We are implementing the ’Qbuy Programme’ as an information hub to empower merchants, consumers, start-ups and e-commerce service providers in Qatar.”
It is worth mentioning that Qatar is currently the seventh largest business-to-consumer market in the MENA region with a current market size of just over $1bn.
($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)