Alibaba’s Jack Ma joins UK government advisory group

The founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has been appointed a member of the UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group. This comes as part of a series of announcements linked to the State Visit of China’s President Xi Jinping to the UK.

Alibaba’s role as a major doorway into the Chinese market both for manufacturing and marketing UK goods there has led to the appointment. China’s position as the second largest economy in the world, with a growing middle class, means that it is a major target for businesses hoping to export their wares to emerging markets. A spokesperson for the PM said that Ma would, “provide particular help and advice on how to get small and medium-sized British businesses boosting their exports and in particular accessing Chinese markets through platforms like Alibaba.”

The UK government has also announced that a £325 million suite of creative and technology partnerships between the UK and China will be unveiled during the four day visit.

In return, China is planning to invest heavily in the UK, working on a range of infrastructure projects from high speed rail to a nuclear power station.