Government wants more Bruneians to shop at local e-commerce sites

by Haadi Bakar
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The government wants more Bruneians to shop at local e-commerce sites and help this sector grow.

About three quarters of the Brunei population shopped online last year, said the country’s infocommunications technology and industry authority (AITI), but the majority of these have made their purchases from foreign e-commerce websites.

According to a 2018 E-Commerce for Consumers Survey conducted by AITI, about 76 per cent of the country’s population was already using e-commerce platforms.

While this figure is very encouraging, AITI said, there is still a need to drive e-shoppers to local e-commerce vendors, so that they could generate revenue and significantly contribute to the growth of the local economy.

The Cybershop Fair at the Airport Mall this weekend is designed to encourage Bruneians to shop online through the local e-vendors.

The two-day fair is participated by 17 e-commerce startups including Naindah, Nimanja, Weelago, J3Smart, Rotuku, StorKitani, Babakimpo and Robogarden.

Among the products on sale during the fair include, groceries, pet food and accessories, furniture, cosmetics and clothing. Vendors offered discounts, free shipping, giveaways and other rewards in hopes to entice local shoppers to their site.

The fair is held in conjunction with the CyberShop Festival, AITI’s annual online shopping campaign to promote local e-commerce.

While Brunei’s e-commerce sector is still in its infancy, the industry is one of the fastest growing in Southeast Asia, thanks to its 330 million Internet users.

As the world’s fastest growing Internet market, ASEAN’s Internet economy will be worth US$240 billion by 2025, according to a study published by Google and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

The study forecasts more than threefold growth for the Internet sector in Southeast Asia and that e-commerce will make up the biggest slice of the Internet economy by 2025, with its gross merchandise value reaching US$102 billion that year, up from US$23 billion in 2018.

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