Alibaba signs MoU to support e-Commerce development in Pakistan

Online and offline training programmes for the SMEs would also be conducted by Alibaba in a bid to assist them with on-boarding on to Alibaba's platforms and optimising exports through e-commerce.

The agreement was signed by Pakistan's Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir and Alibaba's President Michael Evans along with Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President of Global Business of Ant Financial, on behalf of Alibaba, Dawn newspaper reported.

The MoU, signed by Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, the CEO of MDEC; Yong (Daniel) Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group and Xu Liyi Mayor of Hangzhou, were witnessed by Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia; Che Jun, Secretary of Communist Party of China's Zhejiang Provincial Committee and Jack Ma, Alibaba Group's Executive Chairman. He termed e-commerce a catalyst for bringing improvement in small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, which he said could help promote the disadvantaged segments of the society.

Apart from promoting exports, TDAP, Ant and Alibaba will also help promote financial services in areas like mobile and online payment services in the country.

Mr Ma, well-known for his successes in online trade and mobile payments, said e-commerce had enormous potential to unlock growth in emerging markets. He said digital transactions were a solution for small entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and reach global markets.

The Prime Minister, during his visit, said that Pakistan is a growing economy and the government is taking all efforts for the prosperity of the people, adding that since 2013 Pakistan's economic conditions have improved.

The Prime Minister also witnessed the signing ceremony. Ma said that they were monitoring the growth of Pakistan's e-commerce sector. "Pakistan has seen significant progress in recent years and we look forward...to further enhance the potential of their SMEs".

Jack Ma said that that the company has a consumer base of around two billion, besides providing jobs to 100 million people.

The two countries are already working on CPEC (the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).

"China and Pakistan have signed memorandums of understanding to increase the speed of the railway connecting Karachi and Peshawar, as well as upgrade its signal system and railway stations", said Pakistan's special envoy on CPEC, Zafaruddin Mahmood, in an interview with The News.

  • Zachary Reyes