Alibaba announces new Malaysian hub

Alibaba and the Malaysian government have announced that Alibaba is to open a new regional hub in Kuala Lumpur, as well as to begin a partnership between the Malaysian government and the online giant for cross border e-commerce activities.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, and Alibaba’s Chairman, Jack Ma, attended a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur earlier this week to announce the plans.

The Malaysian government and Alibaba exchanged Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) covering a host of areas, including:

– 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 “fit into Malaysia’s roadmap of transformation into a digital economy”.

The hub will operate under the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative together with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). It will function as a centralised customs clearance, warehousing and fulfilment facility for Malaysia and the region.

In a statement, the Malaysian Prime Minister said “We have set out plans to progress Malaysia’s economy and place it firmly at the centre of the global marketplace. To do this we need to harness the assets that we have and provide the support for individuals and businesses to be competitive in the new digital landscape. Alibaba Group is at the forefront of private sector development of e-commerce solutions and their ambitions to enable trade, particularly for SMEs, make them the perfect partner in this new initiative. This is an exciting development for the country, and to be an early participant in eWTP will provide a plethora of opportunities for Malaysian organizations.”

Alibaba Group Executive Chairman, Jack Ma said, “I laid out the vision for eWTP last year, and we as a company have taken on the responsibility to make this a reality. The first e-hub under the eWTP outside of China will go a long way towards making global trade more inclusive and provide much needed support to a hugely important constituent: SMEs and the younger generation. With innovation throughout the supply chain, support from governments and important private sector collaborations, we will achieve our aim of enabling SMEs and young people to thrive and enjoy in the fruits of the next phase of globalization.”

The statement continued, “As part of Malaysia’s DFTZ initiative, the e-hub will provide new commercial opportunities on the established trade route with the country. As more trading routes are covered with new hubs that reflect the needs of the firms participating in the modern economy, a digital global e-road will be created. Alibaba has already played a key role in the establishment of the China (Hangzhou) Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Free Trade Area which will be connected to the DFTZ in Kuala Lumpur.”

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