E-Commerce Slated for Legislation Boost in Saudi Arabia

Thursday, 18 April, 2019 - 12:30
Dammam- Iman AlKhattaf

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is moving forward with legislation needed to boost e-commerce, with Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al Qasabi announcing a new system for regulating the online market being virtually complete and ready for ratification.

A new organizational structure was approved two weeks ago by the Council of Ministers, Qasabi revealed, adding that an e-commerce center serving as a core for invested beneficiaries.

Qasabi said the Saudi e-commerce market is worth about 80 billion riyals ($ 21.3 billion) and that it's among the top 10 countries worldwide in terms of growth.

The minister’s remarks were given in a televised speech during the opening session of the Asharqia business Forum 2019, which was held in Dammam.

Qasabi relayed the government’s keenness on developing and serving consumers and benefactors, assuring their rights through legislation and evolving the logistics and mail infrastructure needed for accommodating a healthy and stable digital market.

Abdullah al-Saleh, secretary general of the e-commerce council, said that the number of e-shops joining the “Maroof” initiative now exceeds 32,000 electronic stores, which are officially registered at the ministry.

The e-service, Maroof, works to enhance the trust between the buyer and the seller, grants the seller easy access with the community, provides a clear image of the quality of the registered e-Store services through the customers` comments and evaluation, and enables the buyer to comment and evaluate the whole purchasing experience.

Abdul Aziz Al-Duheem, a trade ministry official, speaking at the forum, confirmed that one of e-commerce’s most gnarly challenges is establishing consumer confidence.

He stressed that the new e-commerce system, which is in its final stages of development, will guarantee the owners of electronic stores to link their digital outlet to their real-time place of residence, making it easier for them to obtain a commercial license without the need to rent a shop.

It is worth noting that the forum was attended by a large number of businessmen and women and e-commerce specialists who represented major stakeholders in this promising and emerging market in Saudi Arabia.

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