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Wed 9 Mar 2016 02:11 PM

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Qatar calls for stricter e-commerce regulations

Advisory Council calls for more measures as illegal food and medicine are being sold online

Qatar calls for stricter e-commerce regulations

Members of Qatar’s Advisory (Shura) Council have called for stricter regulations on e-commerce in order to protect consumers from illegal substances sold online.

The move comes as more individuals set up home-based e-commerce enterprises, using social media platforms, without a company registration, prompting them to operate outside the country’s legal framework.

According to council member Rashid Al-Midadi, food and medicine are being sold online without the approval of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and the Ministry of Public Health.

Al-Midadi also said he received “reliable information from specialised entities” that human organs and illegal drugs were being sold online.

He said the council will conduct a meeting with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology next week to introduce new rules that protect residents from online scam.

This comes just as the ICT released several strategies to make it easier for entrepreneurs to launch e-commerce businesses.

It said the country’s business regulations make it difficult for digital entrepreneurs, who lack formal office space, to start a new business.

Qatar’s e-commerce consumer market is valued at $1.02 billion. Its average residents spends $3,453 annually online – the highest number in the MENA region.

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