The Next Big Thing in Kurdistan

By Swara Kadir

Electronic commerce also known as e-commerce is worth over $22 trillion dollars worldwide. This can be the next economic big thing in Kurdistan. 
The global economy is fast changing to a digital one. Day by day governments and businesses are fast shifting towards e-commerce. It's profitable, fast, efficient and very convenient. 
Kurdistan is slowly catching on. Young Kurds with some information technology know-how are seeing the profit potential and are quickly jumping on the bandwagon. The main Kurdish e-commerce developments are online shopping sites that connect buyers and sellers for a small fee. 
The challenge in Kurdistan is the lack of digital financing. For example credit cards are still not circulated. When payments are made on these Kurdish online shopping sites, mobile prepaid card numbers are sent as a form of payment. 
There is a need to develop the basic infrastructure of e-commerce before it spreads. Banks are not widely used and with the economic depression, people have been holding on to their dear cash at home rather than trusting financial institutions. 
However things are looking up for Kurdish e-commerce if the opportunity is used. Internet connectivity is getting faster and faster and prices are much lower compared to a couple of years ago. In addition, the ISIS threat is no longer present and market activity is slowly returning. 
Many countries have benefited tremendously from e-commerce, Kurdistan can benefit too. The government needs to encourage it by restoring confidence in financial institutions and raising public awareness so Kurdish entrepreneurs can go digital.

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