RIYADH: The number of e-commerce firms in Saudi Arabia shot up 24 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the same period of the previous year, official data showed. 

The latest data released by the Ministry of Commerce revealed that the total number of registered firms in the country reached 37,481 in the final three months of the year. 

The ministry bulletin also showed that Riyadh topped the list issuing 15,074 registrations, followed by Makkah at 9,529 and the Eastern Province at 6,011. On the other hand, Madinah issued 1,839 registrations, followed by Qassim at 1,259.   

This comes as the e-commerce sector in the Kingdom increasingly plays a key role in bolstering the national economy amid the country’s push to strengthen the digital industry under the National Transformation Program.  

In fact, out of 152 countries, Saudi Arabia has been ranked eighth globally among the top 10 developing economies in e-commerce, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development index.   

Moreover, Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a fintech boom, with the number of companies operating in the sector more than doubling in 2023 compared to the end of 2022, as revealed by the Kingdom’s central bank chief in September last year. 

Additionally, the bulletin revealed that the anticipated total revenue for e-commerce by 2025 is projected to reach SR260 billion ($69.33 billion). 

Furthermore, the expected compound annual growth rate of this sector in the Kingdom between 2020 and 2025 is currently at 15 percent, as disclosed in the report.   

The bulletin also highlighted that the value of venture investment in startups operating in online industry reached an estimated SR446 million in 2022. 

In October 2023, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, or Monsha’at, and the Riyadh Chamber signed an agreement aimed at fostering significant growth in the online trading sector. 

The deal intended to support entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized enterprises in the e-commerce sector, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency at the time.  

The memorandum of understanding, signed during a joint e-commerce tour organized by Monsha’at in collaboration with the E-Commerce Council, was designed to offer training programs and advisory sessions, SPA reported at the time.  

These initiatives focused on enhancing the e-commerce landscape in the Kingdom and addressing the challenges encountered by entrepreneurs and SMEs as they navigate the digital landscape.

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