e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) and UIU jointly celebrated the e-Commerce Day 2016 at UIU campus on April 7, 2015 (Thursday). UIU officials, teachers, students, e-CAB leaders and member organizations participated in the event. e-Commerce 2016 slogan was “Make online shopping safe and secure.”

The event opened with a policy dialogue on e-Commerce policy followed by the main event at 11 a.m. and e-Commerce Boot Camp and discussion session in the afternoon.

At the policy dialogue session, e-CAB Vice President, Rezwanul Haque Jami did a short presentation where he informed the audience about the necessity of an e-Commerce Policy and the draft e-Commerce Policy prepared by e-CAB.

Rezwanul Haque Jami said, “ After 2009, Bangladeshi e-Commerce sector grew at a rapid pace. However, the sector has many issues that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. At e-CAB, we are working to solve these issues and create a prosperous sector. Hence, the ICT Division, gave us the responsibility to draft an e-Commerce Policy. We already did it. The 135 page policy is currently under reviews.

We are going to organize more such policy dialogues in future with different stakeholders and take their input on e-Commerce policy. We would include their feedbacks and make more changes and create an up-to-date e-Commerce Policy.”

He said that e-CAB focused on various topics such as e-security, delivery, logistics, payment security, fraud, etc in the draft.

Fahim Mashroor, Director, Ajkerdeal.com; Md. Shakawat Hossain Mamun, 2016 National President, Junior Chamber International (JCI); UIU Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Chowdhury Mofizur Rahman; Ashish Chakraborty, General Manager, SSL Wireless; Osman Haider, Director, Business ITCL (Qcash); Shaikh Tanvir Ahmed Rony, Managing Director, Sundarban Courier Service Pvt. Ltd., and e-CAB President  Razib Ahmed spoke at the session. e-CAB Director (Corporate Affairs), Shezan Shams conducted the session.

The speakers urged e-CAB and ICT Division to talk with other stakeholders and include their recommendations in the e-Commerce Policy. They also said that the e-Commerce Policy should also give priority on protecting consumer trust and securing the interest of local e-Commerce companies.

In order to create awareness about e-Commerce among young people, the speakers suggested that a chapter on e-Commerce should be included in the Computer Book at secondary or higher-secondary level. In addition, Universities and higher educational institutions should start offering majors in e-Commerce.

After the Policy Dialogue session, a short MoU signing session was held between e-CAB and JCI.

The main event kicked off at 11 a.m. UIU Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Chowdhury Mofizur Rahman Chaired the event. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Honorable State Minister, ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology (MoPTIT) was the Chief Guest. Mustafa Jabbar was the keynote speaker. Special guests included former Chairman of Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO) and e-CAB Advisor Abdullah H. Kafi, MasterCard Country Manager Syed Mohammad Kamal, Md. Shakawat Hossain Mamun, 2016 National President, Junior Chamber International (JCI), Mahbub H Mazumdar, Chairman, Rightchoiebd.com, and Tareen Hossain Manju, Publisher The Daily Ittefaq. e-CAB President Razib Ahmed also delivered speech. e-CAB Director Nasima Akter Nisha was the moderator of the session.

In his keynote, Mustafa Jabbar talked about the starting days of the ICT sector of Bangladesh. He said that US Diplomat Henry Kissinger’s comment on Bangladesh as a “bottomless basket”is not true anymore.  Initially, many people criticized the current government’s “Digital Bangladesh” initiative in 2009. After five years, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India started a similar program called “Digital India.” Maldives  also followed Bangladesh’s footsteps and started their own Digital Program. e-Commerce is a key part of Digital Bangladesh.

He said, “e-Commerce is the future of trade and commerce. We must work together to build a strong and robust e-Commerce sector in our country. He urged the government to announce “National e-Commerce Day” and include internet access as a civil right in the constitution of Bangladesh.”

Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, “The current government is working towards building a Digital Bangladesh by 2021.  In FY 2015-2016 we registered a 7.5% GDP and per-capita income increased $1,466; around Tk. 1 lakh 14 thousand. This is a big achievement for us. Now, there is a huge middle-class population with access to Internet, Computer and smart devices. These people are enthusiastic about online shopping. e-Commerce has a bright future in Bangladesh.”

He also said, “Understanding the huge potential of e-Commerce, the government undertook “e-shop project.” The goal of this project is to spread e-Commerce all over the country resulting in job creations for thousands of young people.

The third session was the e-Commerce Boot Camp. The three-hour boot camp, organized by e-CAB Youth Forum and supported by SSL Commerz and Aponzone.com, started at two p.m and continued till 5:30.  250 people participated in the boot camp.

Asif Ahnaf, President, e-CAB Youth Forum, said we organized this boot camp with an aim to provide practical knowledge about e-Commerce to the young people and improve their skills.

TanTheta CTO, Tanveer Razwan, talked about Facebook marketing for e-Commerce. ZettaByte Gadgets CTO, Omer Sharif, talked about e-mail and SMS marketing. Al-Amin Kabir, founder, Marketever, spoke on generating sales from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Saaqeb Nayeem, Head of E-Commerce, SSL Wireless talked about Payment & Security in e-Commerce Transaction, and Asif Ahnaf talked about starting e-Commerce in Bangladesh.

The boot camp session was followed by a panel discussion. Discussants included Md. Mustafizur Rahman Director (innovation) at Access to information program (A2I); Members of e-CAB Advisory Council Mohammad Iqbal Jamal, and Md Nazrul Islam Khan;  Asif Ahnaf, President, e-CAB Youth Forum; Saaqeb Nayeem, Head of E-Commerce, SSL Wireless; and Quazi Zulquarnain, Country Manager, Kaymu Bangladesh Ltd. Participated.

At end of the boot camp, participants were awarded certificates.

Among others e-CAB Finance Secretary, Mohammad Abdul Haque; Md. Ariful Hye Rajib

Director (Government Affairs); and Md. Afzal Hossain, Director were present at the event.