Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Malaysian government and the Hangzhou Municipal Government to facilitate cross-border e-commerce trade between the two digital hubs.
Under the MOU, the parties will join forces to explore linkages between the China (Hangzhou) Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone and the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in Malaysia as pilot implementation towards building an e-road for global trade.
By leveraging Alibaba’s internet and data technologies, the parties will facilitate cooperation between public and private enterprises in Hangzhou and Malaysia to provide easier access to customs clearance, inspection and permit issuance for SMEs to do cross-border trade.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Che Jun (Secretary of Communist Party of China’s Zhejiang Provincial Committee), and Alibaba’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma were present at the event held in Hangzhou.
“Fostering closer partnership with China is imperative to sustaining our economic growth, and e-business and commerce is clearly the future of global trade. It is therefore exciting to witness the forming of a partnership between government and reputable private enterprises, who will work together to lay the foundation for a more efficient conduct of cross-border trade in the Internet age, to the benefit of all,” said Razak.
According to Ma, “E-commerce is becoming increasingly globalised and it is transforming the way commerce is conducted. With the creation of eWTP, we and partners will build the infrastructure to empower SMEs and young entrepreneurs to succeed in this era of data technology. Today’s announcement has opened up a gateway to global success for small businesses in the two countries. It is our hope that more and more countries and SMEs around the world will benefit from a more level playing field.”
In March this year, Alibaba Group established the first overseas e-hub under eWTP with MDEC. The agreed initiatives include the establishment of an e-fulfilment hub near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, a one-stop online cross-border trading services platform, cooperation in e-payment and financing, and the development of e-talent training that will support Malaysia’s planned transformation into a digital economy.
Alibaba has made progresses on multiple fronts since then. Alibaba Cloud will take part in the Malaysia Multimedia Super Corridor initiatives, with a planned data centre in Malaysia later this year and certification programme for local tech talents, in order to help local SMEs to succeed in the digital age through technology such as big data and Internet of Things (IoT).
Alibaba’s B2B business has launched its Malaysian SME onboarding and external trade promotion programme, as well as working with local universities to offer e-commerce training to SMEs. The group’s B2C business is also committed to helping manufacturers and merchants in Malaysia to sell their products globally.
Ant Financial expands the partnership to six local banks and financial institutions in providing e-payment, with an initial focus on inbound Chinese tourism and promoting trade by Malaysian SMEs.
Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics affiliate; Lazada, Alibaba’s e-commerce arm in Southeast Asia; and Pos Malaysia will work together to set up an e-commerce regional distribution centre, which is expected to come into operation later this year.
Alibaba and its various business units have also entered into collaboration with local educational institutions to offer e-commerce training to develop skillsets in SMEs and individuals in support of Malaysia’s digital economy development.
Photo Credit: Alibabab
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