ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today H. E. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, and Alibaba Group Director and Ant Financial Services Group Chairman and CEO Eric Jing witnessed the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between the Ethiopian Government and Alibaba establishing an eWTP Hub in Ethiopia. The eWTP (electronic world trade platform) Hub is intended to enable cross-border trade, provide smart logistics and fulfillment services, assist Ethiopian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to reach China and other markets, and provide talent training.
Ethiopia aims to build a dynamic and growing digital economy that contributes significantly to overall economic growth in the country. eWTP is an Alibaba-led multi-stakeholder global initiative promoting public-private dialogue in order to support more inclusive global trade which uses technology and policy innovation to provide greater opportunities for SMEs, women and youth. Ethiopia is the second country in Africa to establish an eWTP hub, and this new partnership builds upon the success of other eWTP partnerships in Asia (China and Malaysia), Europe (Belgium) and Africa (Rwanda) over the past two years. As the number of eWTP Hubs increases, it is hoped that trade will increase between the Hubs, providing new opportunities for their merchants in the global economy.
H. E. Minister for Innovation and Technology Getahun Mekuria said: “Today’s signing of the Ethiopia eWTP Hub is an important step in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia. This engagement will greatly contribute to trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but in the wider region. We look forward to continue working with Alibaba Group and CCCI to realize the objectives of the platform which has the potential to transform the lives of many.”
“It is an honor to partner with the government of Ethiopia to establish the eWTP Ethiopia Hub,” said Eric Jing, Alibaba Group Director and Ant Financial Services Group Chairman and CEO. “We will continue to support the creation of a more inclusive, digitally-enabled global economy, where small businesses can participate in global trade. We look forward to working together with entrepreneurs and SMEs from Ethiopia and other African nations to seize the opportunities provided by the digital era.”
The first major initiative for the eWTP partnership in Ethiopia will be the development of a multifunction digital trade hub to serve as a gateway for Ethiopian products to China, a center for cross-border e-commerce and trade within Africa, and a training center. China Commodities City International (CCCI) will partner with Alibaba in the development of the eWTP Hub. The Alibaba Business School will implement the capacity building and training portion of the partnership which consists of a number of programs, including specialized programs for Ethiopian entrepreneurs, business leaders and university lecturers.
The vision of eWTP is to develop new partnerships, technology and policies to enable more inclusive global trade. The eWTP initiative was accepted as a major policy recommendation of the Business 20 (B20) and officially included in the 2016 G20 Summit Leaders’ Communique.
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 the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia
The Ministry of Innovation, led by H. E. Minister Getahun Mekuria, aims to foster innovation and a technology enabled ecosystem that will lead Ethiopia to prosperity.