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Jordan sees ‘enormous growth’ in e-commerce, yet more needed to improve sector — experts

By Batool Ghaith - Jan 17,2021 - Last updated at Jan 17,2021

AMMAN — Jordan witnesses “enormous growth” in e-commerce especially nowadays during the coronavirus pandemic, experts said.

In remarks to The Jordan Times, experts said, when the e-commerce first started in Jordan around 2011, it was dominated by international players, which affected local merchants negatively.

“International competitors pose a big threat to local e-commerce businesses. Products ordered from international platforms arrive via the post, which sometimes are not processed properly and can be exempted from taxes.”Asaad Qawasmi, representative of the apparel and jewelry sector in the Jordan Chamber of Commerce said.

Amjad Sweis, co-founder of e-commerce platforms in Jordan, said that “some platforms witnessed big growth in sales during the pandemic. During the lockdown, e-commerce was the only way for customers to buy some of their favourite products”.

President of the Textiles and Ready-made Garments Syndicate Muneer Deyeh said that there is a “noticeable development in e-commerce in Jordan which has reached a total value of around JD500 million."

Wajdi Makhamreh, an economist, urged the government to raise awareness about the importance of e-commerce for both the merchants and the Kingdom’s economy.

“Compared with neighbouring countries, e-commerce is not as successful as it should be in Jordan, due to the lack of a clear strategy and coordination between stakeholders. To reach higher levels of coordination, we need to conduct studies and build awareness on how to utilise e-commerce, ”Nidal Bitar, CEO of INTAJ told The Jordan Times.

“Jordan is undergoing a digital transformation in general, which is related to the digital skills of citizens which need to be taught in early education levels. I believe we are on the right track regarding that. I also believe that the government should pay more attention to the international e-commerce and encourage the local e-commerce more by limiting the import of international products,” Bitar added.

“I consider E-commerce in Jordan an emerging service that is no less than successful so far in its current status, yet with still bigger opportunities to capture for it to be the norm. Compared to other E-commerce advanced countries, we are getting there, it is a matter of time. We need to push forward in showing the importance of online conversion,” Sawis noted.

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