The ministry of commerce on Friday organised a virtual E-Commerce Youth Conference for consultation and implementation of the government’s ‘E- commerce Policy’ in order to empower youth in the country. The ministry planned the youth conference in collaboration with Kamyab Jawan Program, USAID and Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity (PREIA), according to a press release. The objective of the conference was to provide Pakistan’s youth a platform to share their recommendations that can assist the government in improving its implementation of the National E-Commerce policy to achieve its objective of youth empowerment through E-commerce. The opening ceremony of the conference was attended by Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Aliya Hamza Malik and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Usman Dar and Secretary Commerce Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui. The presentations apprised the participants on the latest E-commerce related developments in the country. In her opening remarks, the Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Aliya Hamza Malik said that through the National E-Commerce Policy the government is creating a conducive environment for E-commerce start-ups to develop and flourish in Pakistan. The focus of this government is to facilitate its young entrepreneurs by improving the regulatory environment, giving them access to finance and digital skills training, rationalising taxation structures, ensuring consumer protection, and improving the ICT and telecom infrastructure. The special assistant to the prime minister on Youth Affairs shared that the initiatives under the Kamyab Jawan Program such as Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) and Hunarmand Pakistan Programme will be used to promote e-commerce businesses and improve access to digital skills training. The National E-Commerce policy and the Kamyab Jawan Program were both launched by the prime minister in October 2019 and aim to leverage the digital economy for the empowerment of Pakistan’s youth. The national E-commerce policy under its pillar “Empowering Youth and SMEs through E-commerce” aims to collaborate with government-run special initiatives such as the Kamyab Jawan Program to achieve its policy goal of extending access to finance and digital skills to Pakistan’s youth and SMEs. In the second session focused group discussions were held on six key areas of the national E-commerce policy including access to finance, access to IT and internet, access to digital skills training, access to conducive startup ecosystem, empowerment of rural youth and global connectivity. In his closing remarks, Secretary Commerce Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui said that the recommendations provided by the private sector during the conference will assist the National E-Commerce Council in its implementation of the National E-Commerce Policy. He also acknowledged the conference organisers, presenters, moderators and participants for their efforts to generate recommendations that can improve the E-commerce ecosystem for young entrepreneurs in Pakistan. The conference successfully coalesced representatives from public and private sector stakeholders including start-ups, freelancers, financial institutions, national youth council, policy makers, national commerce council, P@SHA, State Bank of Pakistan , Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan ,Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Punjab Information Technology Board , national incubators, university students and representatives from educational institutes.