Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Alibaba set to enter Pakistan, signs MoU

Alibaba set to enter Pakistan, signs MoU

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made his first ever visit to Alibaba's Hangzhou headquarters Tuesday to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chinese e-commerce giant.

Under the agreement, the three parties will work on fostering growth of worldwide exports from Pakistani SMEs through e-commerce.

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan will help identify suitable enterprises to participate in Alibaba's training programs, while Alibaba will be providing industry analysis to the trade department to assist them in their selection process. Additionally, Alibaba, Ant Financial and TDAP also established a contract to adopt cloud computing services to support the online and mobile e-commerce businesses of SMEs in the country.

The MoU, signed by Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, the CEO of MDEC; Yong (Daniel) Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group and Xu Liyi Mayor of Hangzhou, were witnessed by Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia; Che Jun, Secretary of Communist Party of China's Zhejiang Provincial Committee and Jack Ma, Alibaba Group's Executive Chairman.

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The MOU follows a series of initiatives by Alibaba to empower SMEs globally via digital commerce and online transactions.

Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir, Pakistan's ambassador to China Masood Khalid and Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong also attended the ceremony.

The Prime Minister, during his visit, said that Pakistan is a growing economy and the government is taking all efforts for the prosperity of the people, adding that since 2013 Pakistan's economic conditions have improved.

Meanwhile, Ma said there is massive potential for e-commerce in emerging markets.

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Under the MoU, the parties will collaborate to create linkages between the China (Hangzhou) Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone - the first domestic e-hub, which Alibaba Group played a key role in establishing - and the DFTZ in Malaysia, established by Alibaba and MDEC in March this year, as pilot implementation towards building an e-road for global trade.

Jack Ma said that that the company had a consumer base of around two billion, besides providing jobs to 100 million people.

Nawaz Sharif said there are bright prospects for investment in e-commerce in Pakistan. As these SMEs grow, the economies of those developing countries do as well. Pushing forward with the construction of CPEC, the two countries recently announced plans to jointly develop a 1,600-kilometer railway linking southern and northern Pakistan.

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