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Alibaba chief seeks global e-trading platform

By Meng Jing and Chen Yingqun (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-04 08:06 Comments

Alibaba chief seeks global e-trading platform

Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, grab lobsters imported from Canada at the online giant's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Saturday. They were celebrating the opening of the Canada Style online shop on Taobao.com, an Alibaba-backed online marketplace where Chinese consumers can directly buy specialty products from Canada. [Photo by Jin Liangkuai/Xinhua]

Jack Ma, executive chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has called for the establishment of an electronic world trade platform whose objective would be to reduce barriers to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to expand their trading capabilities worldwide.

The so-called eWTP initiative, which Ma first proposed in March, has become a hot topic as business leaders from around the world gather for the 2016 B20 Summit in Hangzhou this weekend and consider ways to spur growth.

The platform "is going to be very fundamental for the next 20 or 30 years for the world economy, and for this century", Ma said before summit.

Recognized by many industry observers as an effective way to boost the development of SMEs, the eWTP initiative appears in the final B20 Policy Report.

Gianfranco Casati, group chief executive of emerging markets at Accenture, said e-trade significantly reduces costs for SMEs and eases access to customers.

Luigi Gambardella, president of ChinaEU, a member of the B20 SME Development Task Force, said he expected "the eWTP will provide SMEs a transparent and open platform to sell their goods and services globally, thus facilitating their inclusion in cross-border e-trade".

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