Thailand’s Industry Minister said that Alibaba plans to set up the logistics center in Chachoengsao to empower SMEs to sell to the world
Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has an expansive vision – and it includes empowering SMEs in Southeast Asia to trade with the world. On Monday, the Bangkok Post reported that Alibaba is in talks with Thailand to set up a logistics center to serve the region.
The new logistics center would be located east of Bangkok in Chachoengsao, one of the three provinces the Thai government is developing into an economic corridor.
Alibaba invested an additional US$2 billion in Southeast Asian e-commerce company Lazada last month
The announcement comes in a series of moves to set down roots in Southeast Asia. Last month Alibaba injected US$2 billion into Lazada, upping its total investment to US$4 billion after an initial US$1 billion majority stake purchase in April 2016 and an additional US$1 billion last year. The latter investment lifted Alibaba’s stake in the company to 83% cementing a foothold for China in the region’s e-commerce market.
Alibaba hopes to use Thailand as a base from which to link SMEs from the greater region, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. In response to advancement, Alibaba spokesperson said, “Our focus for the region is to drive partnerships with merchants, offering them access to new customers and markets, enabling SMEs as drivers of economic growth and foster hassle-free trade and e-commerce across borders.”
Amazon to compete with a fulfillment center in Hanoi, Vietnam
This isn’t the only effort Alibaba has made to create a stronghold in Southeast Asia. Last year, the company made an agreement with Malaysian prime minister to transform Kuala Lumpur into a smart city using AI ‘City Brain’ technology. This year at Davos, Jack Ma announced that Malaysia would be home to Alibaba’s first overseas e-hub, the Electronic World Trade Platform.
Although Jack Ma is making impressive moves, he would do well to keep an eye out for competition. Amazon is reportedly constructing a fulfillment center near the Hanoi Airport in northern Vietnam.