US e-commerce giant Amazon has sought policy support from the government as it plans to source products from Bangladesh to sell them on its vast global online marketplace.
A senior official from the Seattle-based company met Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT, at his office in Dhaka yesterday.
Gagan Deep Sagar, category manager for international expansion at Amazon, took part in the hour-long meeting. He, however, declined to talk to the media.
During the meeting, Palak assured Amazon of extending wholehearted support from the government.
“We will look into the policy issue for it and some revisions might be needed,” he added.
“This will be a great opportunity for the local businesses to sell their products even in Europe and America,” Palak said after the meeting.
He said if local producers can sell their products through Amazon’s platform, it will give huge boost to the country’s overall exports. The export volume even could double within 2030. Amazon sold products worth $256 billion in 2018, Palak said.
Amazon had been trying to establish a chain with local producers of garments, leather and some other items since last year but the move went in vain as Bangladesh’s customs regulations did not support the process Amazon follows.
“We faced some challenges on customs regulation. As a result, the initiative did not succeed,” said Mahfuzur Rahman, the local representative of the American multinational technology company, after the meeting.
This time Amazon is trying to get policy support so that producers can easily supply products, said Rahman, also the chief executive officer of Tech Rajshahi, a local company that is providing support to Amazon.
Amazon plans to collect Bangladeshi products to store them in its 18 warehouses across the world with a view to selling them in the global market.
Amazon will not place prior orders with producers. Rather, producers themselves will send their products to the warehouses of the company and after the sales, the producers will get their money.
In order to provide the policy support, the ICT division will try to team up with the commerce ministry, the National Board of Revenue and the customs authorities, Palak said. At the meeting Liakat Ali, chief executive officer of Walton, a local conglomerate, was also present as an interested supplier.