Myanmar launches e-commerce innovation challenge under COVID-19 plan

Since the first COVID-19 case was reported in March, Myanmar has witnessed a surge in digitalisation as both businesses and consumers moved online to adapt to the containment measures.For instance, NearMe, a Myanmar-based digital services platform, on November 12 announced a tie-up with Ninja Van Myanmar, enabling the logistics provider’s partners to accept digitalpayments from their customers.

Myanmar reports highest single day surge in COVID-19 cases

The partnership will allow Ninja Van Myanmar’s business and retail partners to accept cashless payments via NearMe’s e-payments platform from their customers.During COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown in Myanmar, transaction volumes on the NearMe e-payments platform have increased exponentially, indicating a rise in demand for digital payments.This year, Statistica projects a 7.1pc increase in digital transactions and a 19.7pc rise in the number of users adopting digital modes of payment and transfers in Myanmar.With the trend likely to continue, the Ministry of Commerce and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have come together to encourage further development of e-commerce in
Myanmar.The Ministry of Commerce on November 12 launched the MoCOM E-Commerce Innovation Challenge, which is a series of challenges aimed at sourcing innovative ideas from Myanmar’s ecommerce community for combating COVID-19 and supporting the further development of the e-commerce industry in Myanmar.

Launched as an initiative to accelerate implementation of e-commerce under the Myanmar COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, the challenge is also expected to encourage innovation among small businesses and young entrepreneurs in Myanmar. Funding will be provided by the UNDP.The competition will comprise four challenges such as building resilience against COVID-19, developing awareness for consumer rights and intellectual property online as well as encouraging women to participate in e-commerce. Myanmar reports highest single day surge in COVID-19 cases

The total prize pool of these four challenges stands at US$50,000, which the winners can leverage to scale their businesses.Start-ups and small businesses in financial technology, banking, logistics and education that actively support the development of e-commerce are expected to benefit from the challenge, which will
take place from now until the end of the year.

U Aung Htoo, Deputy Minister of Commerce, said the move will accelerate Myanmar’s digital transformation. “We hope to see more businesses adopting online tools as the key strategy towards
building resilience to COVID-19,” he said.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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