Fitch Solutions highlighted Qatar's Ministry of Transport and Communications efforts’ at creating strategic partnerships with local and international entities to help local SMEs expand
Qatar offers e-commerce market worth almost $1.5bn in 2019, Fitch Solutions has said in a report.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is projected to record e-commerce sales growth of 21.4% to reach $28.5bn next year, it said.
This growth rate, Fitch Solutions noted, “marks a slight pickup” from the 20% in 2018 and the region is projected to have the fastest e-commerce sales growth globally, projected to average 18% annually over the medium term (2018-2022).
“This robust growth can largely be attributed to e-commerce sales growing from a low base. For example, the growth outperformer in the region, with an annual increase of 22% in its e-commerce sales for 2019 is Morocco, which we project will reach an e-commerce sales value of $522mn for the year,” Fitch Solutions said.
“While growth is set to stabilise over the medium term, as it cools from its current highs, we note that e-commerce sales growth in MENA will still outpace that of other regions,” Fitch Solutions said.
E-commerce sales in MENA are projected to average 18% annually between 2018 and 2022, above that of the biggest e-commerce market (Asia) where sales are forecast to grow by 14% over the same period.
In terms of total e-commerce sales by value, however, MENA is a laggard, with sales projected to reach $28.5bn in 2019, placing it above Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)'s $9.1bn, but below Central and Eastern Europe ($56.9bn) and Latin America ($64.2bn), as well as obviously Asia for the year, Fitch Solutions said.
However, the report noted that MENA has underperformed in Fitch Solutions’ E-Commerce Index, ranking fifth out of the six regions it covers.
The region scores 38.3 out of 100, considerably below the global average of 49.9, above last placed SSA which scores 36.7.
“MENA's poor score is underpinned by its poor performance in the E-Commerce demand pillar, which measures the projected value of e-commerce sales and propensity to spend online. For this pillar MENA scores 40.6, the lowest out of the six regions. A key reason for this is population size, with smaller populations translating to smaller market opportunities,” Fitch Solutions said.
“A common feature across the GCC is a youthful demographic profile and high income levels. The GCC countries in our E-Commerce Index have a high proportion of young adults (20-39 years old), making up more than a third of the total population. This age bracket is traditionally more tech-savvy than other generations and is a highly influential consumer base that tends to be the key target audience for retailers, as well as e-commerce majors. Qatar and the UAE lead the way on that front, with the largest share of young adults in the region at 54% and 49% respectively in 2019,” Fitch solutions said.
Emphasising that e-Government initiatives are lead the way in the region, the report said, “The governments in the Middle East have been gradually migrating paper-based information services onto online platforms with e-payments, creating a level of trust and confidence for ecommerce platforms.”
In this respect, Fitch Solutions highlighted Qatar's Ministry of Transport and Communications efforts’ at creating strategic partnerships with local and international entities to help local SMEs expand.
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