Thursday, 23 March 2017 07:21

Alibaba announces regional logistics hub in Malaysia

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Chinese online giant Alibaba Holdings will set up a regional logistics hub in Malaysia as part of a digital free trade zone.

The initiative was launched in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

The hub is expected to get off the blocks by the end of 2019, and "function as a centralised customs clearance, warehousing and fulfillment facility for Malaysia and the region, to deliver faster clearance for imports and exports", according to a statement.

Additionally, an e-service platform connected to Alibaba’s OneTouch platform will link Malaysia to the e-commerce pilot area in Hangzhou, China, to enable bilateral trade by SMEs and businesses.

E-payment and financing opportunities will be looked at to make B2B trade for Malaysian SMEs easier and training programmes will be created to help incubate start-ups and develop skillsets for Malaysia’s digital economy development.

alibaba big

Officials at the announcement of the logistic hub deal in Kuala Lumpur.

The hub is part of the electronic world trade platform proposed by Ma at the International Economic Forum in Russia in June last year.

"I laid out the vision for eWTP last year, and we as a company have taken on the responsibility to make this a reality," Ma said in the statement.

"The first e-hub under the eWTP outside of China will go a long way towards making global trade more inclusive and provide much needed support to a hugely important constituent: SMEs and the younger generation.

"With innovation throughout the supply chain, support from governments and important private sector collaborations, we will achieve our aim of enabling SMEs and young people to thrive and enjoy in the fruits of the next phase of globalisation."

Razak said: "We have set out plans to progress Malaysia’s economy and place it firmly at the centre of the global marketplace. To do this, we need to harness the assets that we have and provide the support for individuals and businesses to be competitive in the new digital landscape.

"Alibaba Group is at the forefront of private sector development of e-commerce solutions and their ambitions to enable trade, particularly for SMEs, make them the perfect partner in this new initiative. This is an exciting development for the country, and to be an early participant in eWTP will provide a plethora of opportunities for Malaysian organisatio

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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