Belgium has signed on to become a member of the Electronic World Trade Platform– the first country in Europe to do so
Alibaba on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Belgium to bring the eWTP to the country of 11.4 million, with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters as well as Alibaba Group Senior Director James Song and President of Global Business Angel Zhao in attendance.
The eWTP seeks to lower barriers to global trade for small and medium-sized businesses via e-commerce. The private sector-led, multi-stakeholder initiative offers SMEs easier access to new markets via simple and straightforward regulations, as well as support in logistics, financing, cloud computing and mobile payments services.
“The arrival of Cainiao reinforces the competitiveness of our hub” said Liege Airport CEO Luc Partoune. “Several PRC companies are already here. Other companies will be attracted by the presence of Cainiao and the opportunity for e-commerce growth between Europe and China.”
“This will be a huge opportunity to boost exports and bring wide reaching economic benefits to society, including employment opportunities to Liege,” said Prime Minister Michel. “Participation in eWTP underlines our country’s vision to help local small and medium-sized companies to be more competitive in the global marketplace in the digital age.”
A key part of the agreement between Hangzhou based giant and Belgium is building logistics infrastructure to support cross-border trade. For this purpose, Cainiao signed a deal with Belgium’s Liege Airport to build a 220,000-square-meter shipping hub at the airport. With an initial investment of 75 million euros, the first phase of hub is expected to begin operations in early 2021.
Airport of Liege. This hub used more than 315000 passengers in 2013
In addition to this logistics hub, Belgium government and Chinese e-commerce giant will work to digitize and, therefore, streamline customs procedures to allow for a more-efficient clearance of goods, which would further support SMEs.
Alibaba will also collaborate with the Belgian trade and investment agencies for the regions of Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia on promotions, marketing and direct imports of Belgian products to increase their sales on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms.
Finally, Alibaba and the Belgian government will partner to promote the country as an attractive destination for Chinese tourists.
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