KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alibaba Group announced that the first eWTP hub outside of China has gone live in a ceremony held in Malaysia and hosted by Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma. The milestone event follows Alibaba’s partnership announcement with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in March this year to work jointly to enable Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from global trade.
The Electronic World Trade Platform, or eWTP, forms part of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) spearheaded by MDEC. The eWTP hub offers Malaysian SMEs the infrastructure for doing commerce with services encompassing ecommerce, logistics, cloud computing, mobile payment and talent training.
Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak said, “With the launch today and our early participation with eWTP, Malaysia is progressing its economic transformation vision and taking a step towards becoming the leading sourcing and fulfilment hub in Asia. Collaborating with Alibaba to develop the infrastructure freely available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the DFTZ, we have fundamentally improved the competitiveness of Malaysian firms on the global stage which will boost exports and bring wide reaching economic benefits to society.”
“I’m truly amazed by the resolve and commitment of the Malaysian government to remove all the barriers in just under a year to make this day possible,” said Mr. Ma at the event. “Today we are witnessing a historic moment in Asia where one country has begun to use technology to enable its SMEs and young people to become more competitive on the world stage. As the eWTP hub in DFTZ commences operation, they will have the opportunity to global buy, global sell, global pay, global delivery and global travel. This is an opportunity for not just the small businesses and young people in Malaysia but across Asia.”
The vision for eWTP is to lower trade barriers and provide more equitable access to markets for SMEs around the world, with private sector and governments working together. The eWTP initiative was accepted as a major policy recommendation of the Business 20 (B20) and officially included in the 2016 G20 Leaders’ Communique.
The various initiatives under eWTP include the launch of a Malaysia Pavilion on Alibaba.com to help promote quality Malaysian products to global buyers. A one-stop solution platform has been set up with an emphasis on providing export facilitation support to local SMEs, with services ranging from marketing and customs clearance, to streamlined permit application procedures and tax declaration and more.
Today’s ceremonies also included the ground breaking of a regional ecommerce logistics hub to be developed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad and Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics affiliate, through a joint venture announced today. The facility will enable speedy storage, fulfilment, customs clearance and warehousing operations.
As part of the initiative to support Malaysian SMEs with cloud computing needs, Alibaba Cloud opened a local data centre in Malaysia last week. As the first local public cloud platform in Malaysia, the new center will provide Malaysian enterprises a local choice to build their businesses and run their applications on a powerful, reliable and secure cloud platform.
Under the eWTP, the training of local talent is a core focus to ensure a sustainable ecosystem. Over 1,000 students from various Malaysian universities have participated in a range of B2B ecommerce curriculum and almost 140 faculty members have completed the Train the Trainers program with the expectation that this continues and the talent pool grows significantly.
Malaysia represents the successful launch of the first international eHub as part of the eWTP initiative and many local merchants will benefit from the trade facilitation services. In future, more eHubs will create the global network necessary to facilitate trade for small and medium enterprises around the world.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.
About Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP)
The Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative’s goal is to build a more inclusive and innovative global trading platform for SMEs, young people and consumers. The eWTP was proposed by Jack Ma in 2016 and was accepted as a major policy recommendation of the Business 20 (B20) and officially included in the 2016 G20 Leaders’ Communique. The aim is to complement the work being carried out by the World trade Organization (WTO) and reduce barriers making it easier for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to expand their trading capabilities worldwide.
The benefits of increased trade and globalization have not reached smaller enterprises and developing countries as much as it has benefited their larger, more established counterparts. The eWTP is intended to help companies and developing countries that are not realizing their full trading potential.
An increasing amount of local, regional, national and international commerce is conducted on a variety of platforms on the Internet. This comparatively frictionless method of conducting business can enable more countries, enterprises and entrepreneurs to participate in global trade and reap the benefits of globalization.