China-based Alibaba has signed an agreement with the Belgium government to create an ecommerce trade hub. The agreement is part of Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), of which Belgium is the first European country to join.
Logistics division Cainiao to invest €75m…
Alibaba’s logistics division, Cainiao, will initially invest €75m (US$85m) in the project, which will commence in 2021. It will also lease a 220,000 sq. m logistics port at Belgium’s Liege airport.
Commenting on the agreement, Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, said, “We strongly believe that under the eWTP, we will open up the huge potential for European businesses to reap the benefits of global cross-border trade, especially into the China market”. Zhang has stated that Alibaba is aiming to help create the opportunity to generate US$200bn worth of imports to China over the next five years.
…to help reduce barriers for ecommerce
Alibaba’s eWTP aims to help reduce existing trade barriers for ecommerce trade between countries. This includes lowering or removing tariffs and improving the customs clearance process. The aim of the hubs is also to extend the reach of Alibaba’s other services, such as cloud computing, financing, logistics, and mobile payments. It has also been designed to “compliment” the World Trade Organisation.