China’s Alibaba enters Pakistan market, MoU signed


Nawaz meets CCP Secy Jun, arrives in HK

Omar Malik


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group signed an MoU with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to support development of SMEs and financial services.
The development took place after a series of meetings and visits of Alibaba Group to Pakistan. The prime minister had met Executive Chairman of the company Jack Ma during World Economic Forum and later a high-level delegation of the company visited Pakistan to explore the opportunities.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, addressing the signing ceremony of MoU regarding setting up an e-platformon, said he was the firm believer of political empowerment of people through economic development and would encourage e-commerce in the country as a tool to help small businesses go global.
The Prime Minister said the initiative would help create jobs and generate livelihood in the country.
The Prime Minister termed e-commerce a catalyst for bringing improvement in Small and Medium Enterprises sector, which he said could help promote the disadvantaged segments of the society.
He said digital transactions were a solution for small entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and reach global markets.
He expressed pleasure on meeting the founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma following their last meeting at Davos this January and said he was impressed by the contribution of the e-commerce giant for the economic uplift of Chinese people.
The Prime Minister said Alibaba Group’s approach of helping out small business enterprisers had a humanistic dimension which was also the pivot of Pakistan government’s policies since 2013.
Nawaz Sharif appreciated Jack Ma for his intention to open an e-platform of Alibaba in Paksitan and said he had earlier directed his office to work out the formalities that resulted in signing of MoU within four months.
He expressed hope that Alibaba Group would launch the project in Pakistan at the earliest.
Jack Ma, well-known for his successes in online trade and mobile payments said e-commerce had enormous potential to unlock growth in emerging markets.
He said the future of e-commerce looked promising for small businesses and mentioned that nowadays, more and more such entities were incorporating e-commerce platforms as part of their business systems.
He said his company was closely monitoring the progress of Pakistan’s e-commerce sector and wanted to support small scale industries.
He apprised the Prime Minister that Alibaba Group was facilitating 60 million companies across the globe and said that around 300,000 consumers from Pakistan had signed with Alibaba for transactions and company’s services.
Jack Ma lauded that small craft factories flourishing in Pakistan and mentioned the country’s world famous products particularly footballs and Himalayan pink salt.
He emphasized that paying special attention to the youth in Pakistan, being two-third of country’s population, could make them more productive for national economy.
The Alibaba founder said close collaboration between Pakistan and China in commerce could turn the “irons brothers into golden brothers”.
The Alibaba founder said close collaboration between Pakistan and China in commerce could turn the “irons brothers into golden brothers”.
Alibaba has deep ties with the Chinese government, working closely on some of the country’s core technology development goals including cloud infrastructure and big data.
Ma is a true rags-to-riches story. He grew up poor in communist China, failed his university-entrance exam twice, and was rejected from dozens of jobs, including one at KFC, before finding success with his third internet company, Alibaba.
China’s Alibaba is not interested in acquisitions this year as it is in partnerships, Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma said on Thursday.
“I am not interested in acquisitions. I am more interested in partnerships,” Ma said at a news conference on Alibaba’s Olympic sponsorship deal, when he asked about his company’s plans for the year. “We want to look for partners and empower them to be powerful,” he said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a meeting with Secretary of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China Che Jun, discussed matters of mutual interest and bilateral relations between Pakistan and China. He said the two countries were standing together for the prosperity and well- being of their people.
Che Jun apprised the Prime Minister about the economic stability of Zhejiang province, which he said was an economic hub and historically was part of the Silk Route. Che Jun said that the business community in Pakistan and the Chineseprovince of Zhejiang had strong links and stressed that trade cooperation must be enhanced.
Later, the Prime Minister arrived in Hong Kong on the second leg of his visit to China.

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