Surge of e-commerce Trade in Jordan Awaits Legislative Environment to Mature

Surge of e-commerce Trade in Jordan Awaits Legislative Environment to Mature

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Electronic "Procedures" and "Documentation" Still Pending Laws and Regulations


E-commerce in Jordan continues to suffer from poor demand, whereby dealings in this type of trade remain on the basis of cash on delivery.

Experts operating in the field of e-commerce at the regional level emphasize that Jordan is like many other countries in the region, for despite an advanced infrastructure, electronic trade is still restricted only to paying some fees and charges on procedures.  As for electronic purchasing, confidence in it remains poor.

Although there is a strategy related to electronic trade in Jordan, the absence of supporting legislations and laws remains an impediment facing this service, mainly laws related to electronic procedures and the electronic documentation system. Let alone delays in electronic government services.

Estimates indicate that by the end of 2016, the volume of e-commerce in the Middle East and North Africa Region will amount to $16 billion, according to the Middle East Payment Services Company chairman of the board of directors, Dr. Abdul Malik Al-Jaber.  Jordan’s share of it, however, remains very limited, although electronic trading during 2012 in the region amounted to $6 billion.

He explained in a press statement that e-commerce is witnessing increasing expansion and demand by internet users in the region, in such a manner that trading electronically, including goods, and tangible and intangible products, assume a large volume of the daily lives of users, yet they are still concentrated in the cash on delivery category, which faces many challenges in most cases, with the risk factor of dissatisfaction with the product purchased and retained remaining.

He also believes that e-commerce services require additional awareness and speed in approving and implementing legislations and laws governing this type of trade, pointing out to the fact that the infrastructure related to the spread of the internet, especially that the region is considered the fastest in growth in the use of the internet worldwide, means that the obstacle facing the proliferation of the internet are disappearing, especially with the large expansion in the use of smart phones.

On his part, the executive manager of the Communications and Information Technology Companies Association in Jordan (INTAJ), Abdul Majid Shamlawi, believes that e-commerce is still in its infancy in Jordan and the region, where the absence of confidence in electronic payment systems, in addition to the inactivation and completion of a number of laws and regulations governing this type of trade, affect their growth negatively, compared to the advanced countries of the world in this field.

He expects a gradual growth for electronic trade in Jordan and the region within the next few years, with the increase in awareness of its importance and the services provided.

He also pointed out that the electronic trade strategy that was approved by the government a few years ago has not been activated as well, and all parties concerned did not work at implementing its components to a large extent to-date.

International studies indicate that the volume of global electronic trade activity is estimated at $7 trillion, with the United States controlling half the size of this sector.

Wikipedia, the electronic encyclopedia, states that electronic trade is a concept which appeared in the early 1990’s.  Researchers, however, pointed out that electronic trade existed in the 1970’s through electronic information exchange systems among industrial companies.  The encyclopedia defines electronic trade as any commercial activity practiced through the internet.  There are also those who define it as any commercial activity carried out through the use of communications and information technology.  In addition to any commercial trade through the internet, it also includes mobile phones, land lines, television, and other electronic communication means.

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