The Pakistani government has relaxed laws governing ecommerce in the county, and has invited international online payment giants PayPal and Alibaba to enter its emerging ecommerce market.
Neither PayPal nor Alibaba's Alipay currently operate in Pakistan, where cash-on-delivery is the only ecommerce payment option with any significant usership.
A spokesperson from the Pakistani government confirmed it had approached both companies with invitations to enter the country, “to enable ecommerce services in Pakistan.”
Pakistan was recently taken off the international Financial Action Task Force's list of countries classed as “high risk” with endemic money laundering problems.
Currently just 3% of Pakistanis engage in ecommerce, spending around 30 million US dollars a year. This figure is expected to explode to 600 million US dollars within just 2 years, however, with levels of growth being described as “exponential”.
The rapid growth is being put down to several factors, including rising internet penetration, the falling price of smartphones in the country and improved infrastructure.