Dec 06, 2018 (China Knowledge) - Alibaba <BABA:NYSE> has inked a partnership with the Belgian government yesterday to create a trade hub under the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative, where the Belgian companies can leverage on the platform to sell abroad.
Belgium is the first European country to sign up for the eWTP initiative proposed by Alibaba's co-founder Jack Ma in 2016. Ma aims to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) sell products abroad, a process which many find to be complicated and expensive.
The eWTP was an initiative that has been recognized by the G20, and has been adopted by countries such as Malaysia and Rwanda, along with China.
With over 98% of European companies being SMEs, Alibaba's CEO, Daniel Zhang believes that these companies can leverage on the platform to reap the benefits of cross-border trade, especially in China where there is a high demand for European goods.
As part of this initiative, Alibaba will be opening a warehouse in Liege, Belgium under its logistic arms Cainiao. The partnership with Belgium's Liege Airport will help businesses in Europe transport goods to China. The company is expected to invest an initial sum of EUR 75 million, and the first phase of the hub is expected to begin operations in early 2021.
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