Alibaba moves into Europe as Belgium signs up to new electronic trade initiative
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Alibaba moves into Europe as Belgium signs up to new electronic trade initiative

Chinese ecommerce titan Alibaba is taking a leaf out of expansionary ecommerce companies in the west and moving across the globe. In Alibaba’s case, this means moving into Europe, where the company has signed an agreement with the Belgian government to create a trade hub aiming to help western firms sell products abroad. The trade hub will form a part of the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP)first proposed by Alibaba-founder Jack Ma, and will lead to the company’s logistics arm, Cainiao, opening a warehouse in Liege, Belgium.

Alibaba’s share price has appreciated by 6% over the last 30 days

graph 10 alibaba

Source: Yahoo Finance

Belgium is the first European country to sign up to the eWTP, which will help small- and medium-sized businesses sell goods abroad – something that has traditionally proved too complex and expensive for many of them to bother with. Alibaba’s logistics arm is also investing in a warehouse in the country, ensuring that businesses have help in transporting goods from Europe to China.

While the eWTP has global ambitions, for the moment, its big draw is letting businesses from outside of China sell goods inside the country. Other nations that have signed up to the platform include Malaysia and Rwanda. Jack Ma, and his successor Daniel Zhang, have pledged to import $200 billion of quality goods into China over the next five years – and the eWTP is one of the prime ways they intend to do so.

In a press release last Wednesday, 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 where the demand for European goods is high.”

Dominion holds Alibaba in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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