RLC MENA Summit 2020 panel: Saudi’s e-commerce market is “booming”

World Faizah Kamal 11-Feb-2020
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With the modernisation of retail under way, e-commerce is booming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with Saudi Arabia emerging as its top performing country.

The Retail Leaders Circle MENA Summit 2020 commenced in Riyadh on February 10.

During the session titled ‘The State of MENA Retail’ on the day, Cyrille Fabre, partner at Bain & Company said, “In MENA, the e-commerce market grew 29 percent from approximately $8.5 billion in 2017 to $14.3 billion in 2019.”

“Saudi Arabia is booming in terms of e-commerce and is the number one market in the region in terms of growth and size,” he added.

Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi said, “E-commerce in the Kingdom has grown significantly. We have more than SR80 billion ($21.3 billion) in services and products and 45,000 shops and e-commerce platforms.”

Al-Qasabi welcomed leading businesspeople to the opening session of the summit, which was being held in the Kingdom for the first time. He added, “As we begin to focus on the Kingdom’s value proposition, we have a unique blend of opportunities that make Saudi Arabia a destination for investment.”

Speaking on e-commerce outlook, Ahmed Al-Hakbani, governor of Saudi Customs said, “In the 2020 Doing Business report from the World Bank, Saudi Arabia jumped 72 global positions in one year in the (Trading Across Borders) measure.”

“We want to expedite e-commerce. When it comes to e-commerce, we are putting much more emphasis on customer service and ensuring online retailers uphold the standards of the traditional retail sector,” he added.

The two-day summit was organised under the patronage of the minister of Commerce and Investment, in partnership with Invest Saudi.

Local, regional and international leaders came together to examine the strengths of the retail industry and economic growth opportunities within the sector.