Alibaba, Pakistan ink MOU on digital Silk Road

Alibaba Signs its First MoU in Pakistan to Promote e Commerce Industry

The MoU was signed by Khurram Dastgir (Minister for Commerce), Michael Evans (President Alibaba Group) and Douglas Feagin (Senior Vice President Global Business of Ant Financial) on behalf of Alibaba.

But beyond that, Alibaba's entry into Pakistan can also potentially incentivise other e-commerce giants to bring their business to the country.

The parties also agreed to adopt cloud computing services to support the online and mobile e-commerce businesses of SMEs in Pakistan. In exchange, TDAP will select suitable SMEs to participate in training programs based on the industry analysis framework provided by the e-commerce giant, notes the Tribune.

In addition, Alibaba, Ant Financial and TDAP have agreed to promote the growth of financial services in Pakistan in areas such as mobile and online payment services.

The chances for growth with multinational e-commerce companies coming in is enormous - beyond employment, online businesses stand to bring greater connectivity, ease-of-access, economic activity and even entrepreneurship.

"I am honored to have had the opportunity to visit the Alibaba Headquarters in Hangzhou, China", Sharif said.

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"Our objective is to empower people and strengthen the economy of Pakistan", he remarked and added that he appreciated Alibaba not only for being an e-commerce success but for creating job opportunists for the masses. Further, he said that e-commerce is a promising tool for small businesses, adding that more and more businesses are embracing e-commerce platforms as part of their business systems. Ma was on hand for the signing ceremony. Ma said that they were monitoring the growth of Pakistan's e-commerce sector.

Under the MoU, the parties will collaborate to create linkages between the China (Hangzhou) Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone - the first domestic e-hub, which Alibaba Group played a key role in establishing - and the DFTZ in Malaysia, established by Alibaba and MDEC in March this year, as pilot implementation towards building an e-road for global trade. "It is our hope that more and more countries and SMEs around the world will benefit from a more level playing field", says Ma.

Over the past few years, the Chinese company has been encouraging foreign brands to join Tmall stores to offer their products to China's massive and rising middle class.

Nawaz Sharif said there are bright prospects for investment in e-commerce in Pakistan.

The two countries are already working on CPEC (the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). Pushing forward with the construction of CPEC, the two countries recently announced plans to jointly develop a 1,600-kilometer railway linking southern and northern Pakistan.

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