E-com­merce start-up aims to en­er­gise small busi­nesses

A Myan­mar e-com­merce start-up is de­ter­mined to break con­nec­tiv­ity bar­ri­ers and pro­mote eco­nomic in­clu­sion by pro­vid­ing an on­line plat­form for small busi­nesses.

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - PHYO WAI KYAW phy­[email protected]­times.com

THE op­po­si­tion Union Sol­i­dar­ity De­vel­op­ment Party (USDP) will only choose can­di­dates, re­gard­less of gen­der, who have pop­u­lar sup­port, a party spokesper­son said on Wed­nes­day.

U Thein Tun Oo said a gen­eral con­fer­ence will be held at party head­quar­ters in Nay Pyi Taw on De­cem­ber 11 and 12 to in­vite young women to play a big­ger role in Myan­mar pol­i­tics.

He said the party wants to en­sure the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of women as part of its ef­fort to win the 2020 elec­tions.

“We have held events at which we re­viewed the per­for­mance of women com­pared to that of men,” U Thein Tun Oo told par­tic­i­pants at a meet­ing of the USDP’S Man­dalay Re­gion Cen­tral Women’s Con­fer­ence.

“If the lower level of the party rec­om­mends women (as can­di­dates), as per the prin­ci­ples of the USDP, we will not dis­crim­i­nate against them but will se­lect those who are qual­i­fied and have pop­u­lar sup­port,” he said.

He added that se­nior party lead­ers will not nom­i­nate the can­di­dates but will use a “bot­tom-up” ap­proach, adding that only lower-level mem­bers who have pop­u­lar sup­port will be cho­sen to run in the elec­tions.

“Since the 2015 elec­tion, we’ve been ob­serv­ing which types of peo­ple are best suited to be elected Hlut­taw MPS in 2020. There are many ways to look for them,” he said. “We gather the peo­ple, and there will be ten or 15 peo­ple who stand out. Then we let them meet with the party and or­di­nary cit­i­zens; we look at their per­for­mance and how peo­ple re­act to them.”

Par­tic­i­pants at the con­fer­ence’s pre­lim­i­nary sem­i­nar dis­cussed sev­eral is­sues, in­clud­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of women in pol­i­tics.

“I be­lieve that fe­male party mem­bers are ac­tive and sharp and will carry out their du­ties en­thu­si­as­ti­cally in what­ever way they can. The party does not dis­crim­i­nate against women,” said U Wunna Maung Lwin, who is in charge of the party in Man­dalay Re­gion and a cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber.

The party has more than five mil­lion mem­bers, of whom women make more than half, U Wunna Maung Lwin said.

in­dus­try.

Sur­vival of SMES As cross-bor­der trade grows and com­pe­ti­tion in the e-com­merce sec­tor in ASEAN heats up, op­por­tu­ni­ties abound for cross-bor­der bulk-buy­ers and whole­salers. The chal­lenge for small sell­ers would be to com­pete in this in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment and not be squeezed out by larger play­ers.

As an on­line mar­ket­place solely fo­cused on Myan­mar, Bar­lolo’s strat­egy is to po­si­tion it­self as the lead­ing plat­form reach­ing out to small busi­nesses and dis­trib­u­tors who of­fer qual­ity prod­ucts for the masses. “We be­lieve this strat­egy po­si­tions us well to ben­e­fit from the emer­gence of the mid­dle-class in the coun­try,” U Min Min ob­served.

In Myan­mar, big names have es­tab­lished their pres­ence re­cently, in­clud­ing Alibaba’s sub­sidiary Shop.com. mm. Shop.com.mm gen­er­ated sales of over US$90,000 (K143 mil­lion) in the first hour of its first-ever Sin­gles Day on­line sale on Novem­ber 11. The oc­ca­sion, also known as 11.11, is the big­gest shop­ping event in China. Ear­lier this year, Ja­panese de­liv­ery gi­ant Yam­ato has also set up a unit in Myan­mar to tap into the lo­gis­tics and e-com­merce boom.

A re­cent re­port from the United Na­tions Con­fer­ence on Trade and De­vel­op­ment (UNCTAD) ti­tled “Rapid etrade Readi­ness As­sess­ment of Myan­mar” ar­gued that im­prov­ing the leg­isla­tive and reg­u­la­tory frame­work is needed to prop­erly gov­ern the in­dus­try. This means tak­ing more ac­tive steps on con­sumer pro­tec­tion, pri­vacy, se­cu­rity of trans­ac­tions, cy­ber­crimes and other prob­lems that have been part of the dig­i­tal ecosys­tem. It also pre­dicted that e-com­merce can ben­e­fit, in the long run, the re­tail, health­care and tourism sec­tors.

Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

The Cen­tral Women’s Con­fer­ence at Union Sol­i­dar­ity and De­vel­op­ment Party re­gional head­quar­ters in Man­dalay.

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