CRA Postal Forum Discusses Way Forward to Develop Qatar’s Postal Ecosystem & eCommerce
The World Postal Day Forum, the first-ever forum on postal sector organized by the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), has initiated an international dialogue on the importance of standardization, sector’s role in logistics supply chain and regulation of parcel delivery in an era of ubiquitous eCommerce.
International, regional and local speakers discussed matters related to the development of postal sector at the Forum. The main occurring theme was to ensure regulations are responsive to the changing demands and requirements of economies, creating ecosystems of stakeholders where governments, regulators, market players and the end users have a mutually beneficial co-existence.
“For Qatar, the World Postal Day Forum is an important link to strengthen cooperation between the postal stakeholders, and to enhance collaboration between CRA and other regulators. We also need to enhance our broad vision to be comprehensive, transparent and relevant to the changes in the postal ecosystem. The contribution of postal sector in Qatar’s GDP indicates the importance of the sector (1.8% in 2016), and we look forward to increase this contribution further in the coming years," said His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai, President of the CRA.
The first panel focussed on postal regulation in the modern times, and discussed the challenges faced by regulators in an environment that is changing at a fast pace because of the changing business models, consumer behaviour and the role the sector plays in making logistics supply chains effective. Panelists also shared their perspectives on regulation of parcel delivery, a key component and driver of eCommerce adoption by small businesses. UPU elaborated on the organization’s role in standardization and in future postal services.
Moderated by John Manson of Analysys Mason, the panel included Dr. Soud Al-Shuaili, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Sultanate of Oman, Wolfgang Feiel, Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), Hashim El-Haj, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and Salim Omar, Q-Post.
The panel on consumer protection emphasized the need to have quality of service assurance from service providers. CRA’s mandate to regulate postal sector includes international couriers and their role in developing eCommerce and this matter was discussed from the perspective of customer protection, an important aspect of CRA’s regulations.
The panel, moderated by Manson, included Kevin Ray, Q-Post, Alia Jandal, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Sultanate of Oman and Muath Said, UPS.
A highlight of the Forum was a presentation by Dr. Al-Shuaili on the mechanism of regulating postal sector in the Sultanate of Oman. Oman issued the regulatory law in 2012 ensuring availability of high-quality postal services in the Sultanate at reasonable prices. Oman has been continually working to develop the postal sector in consideration to the future economic and social requirements in the country.
A mini-exhibition showcased the various postal and courier services available in Qatar. Representative companies showcasing their products included Aramex, Falcon Express, First Flight Couriers (Middle East) LLC, Tokyo Freight Services WLL, Q-Post, and UPS, among others.
The World Postal Day is celebrated on October 9 each year on the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which was established in 1874 in Switzerland. The UPU is a specialized agency of the UN, it is one of the world’s oldest international organizations and is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.