Alibaba opens cross border trade to SMBs

To help small and medium businesses (SMBs) Alibaba and the municipal government of Yiwu in Zheijiang in China have announced plans to develop a Digitized Comprehensive Bonded Zone that will give local businesses greater access to global markets.

The Bonded Zone is built under the eWTP (electronic World Trade Platform) framework and is being done as Yiwu celebrates its first anniversary of its establishment as an eWTP hub. It was launched last year to digitise the commerce infrastructure of the city and enable new trade flows and opportunities. This comes as global trade recovers from the pandemic.

One of the core parts of the initiatives is a joint venture between Alibaba Group and Yiwu-based China Commodities City Group to develop the eWTP cross-border trade service platform of Yiwu. This one-stop platform will offer SMEs digitised trade services, including customs clearance, foreign exchange settlement and tax procedures. It will be the third trade service platform established at an eWTP Hub, following the launch of trade platforms in Hangzhou, China and Liege, Belgium.

“With its advantages as a product and SME hub as well as its existing trade infrastructure, Yiwu is the definition of strategic planning for enabling businesses to navigate the digital age. Alibaba will work together with Yiwu to further facilitate the city’s transformation into a digitised small commodities trading hub and digitised port as a step toward the collective goal of complete digitisation of global trade,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group.