- Citizen maturity and business readiness for e-commerce ranked at basic level
- But says potential for domestic and cross-boarder trade appears enormous
An e-commerce readiness report on Sri Lanka has revealed that despite the general optimism among Sri Lankan businesses with regard to the use of e-commerce, the present state of e-commerce development in the country remains “basic”.
However, the report noted that the potential for expansion, both for the domestic market and cross-boarder trade, appears to be enormous.
The E-commerce Readiness Assessment Report Sri Lanka was launched by the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC) in collaboration with the Export Development Board (EDB).
The report assessed the data obtained under five parameters—citizen maturity, business readiness, IT infrastructure and accessibility, logistics and delivery, policy and regulations.
Citizen maturity for e-commerce was observed to be at the basic level and as per the report, challenges prevail with regard to low internet availability and low usage of e-payment due to lack of awareness, skill, and trust.
Business readiness for e-commerce has also been ranked at the basic level, as businesses score low in terms of availability of skills, know-how and technology infrastructure as well as on the adoption of technology for selling and buying.
With regard to logistics and delivery, the publication noted that although some logistic firms use information and communication technology, it was not the case for the entire delivery chain.
“Lack of resources, skills, know-how and awareness, and indeed lack of automation in material handling are major challenges facing firms in relation to effectively supporting e-commerce,” the report noted.
Sri Lanka’s IT infrastructure and accessibility and policy and regulations parameters have been assessed at a higher level of maturity than the other three parameters by the publication.
According to the report, Sri Lanka’s internet penetration, which is currently at 30 percent, has to rise and high bandwidth must be made available to increase the digital population.
“Meanwhile, although Sri Lanka has already enacted the necessary laws and policies on all subjects relevant to e-commerce, a fresh review of these will be necessary to remove inconsistencies and conflicts that exist between these and the corresponding civil and criminal laws of the country, and to optimize them to meet the needs of the country,” the publication observed in relation to policy and regulations.
The report recommends a strategic plan for e-commerce development and added its implementation is necessary to overcome the challenges faced by the country.
“The proposed strategic e-commerce
development programme could bring under a single umbrella all policy, regulatory, skill development,
awareness-raising, investment and other systemic action that must be taken to unlock the considerable
potential for e-commerce in Sri Lanka,” the publication emphasized.